The story so far: after embracing an overtly New Age, Theosophical and Gnostic-tinged worldview in an extremely public manner, David Icke finds himself the subject of widespread ridicule. In the mid-1990s he doubles down on this by blending his homebrewed cosmology (cobbled together as it was from other people’s ideas) with his very own Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory of everything (which he largely stole from The Gods of Eden and Behold a Pale Horse, and then sprinkled a heap of material from other conspiracy researchers on top of that mashup to obscure the seams).
Meanwhile, Icke’s personal life continued to take twists and turns which ordinarily I wouldn’t touch, except that they have a significant impact on his work. During his early New Age-focused phase, Icke would commence a polyamorous relationship in which he was still with his wife, Linda Atherton, but was also seeing Mari Shawsun, one of the psychics who was guiding him in the process of his spiritual development. Icke’s autobiography, In the Light of Experience, ends up giving the impression that the relationship wasn’t begun with Linda’s prior consent but was simply presented to Linda as a fait accompli.
After Shawsun was expelled from Icke’s circles, Linda and Icke remained married legally speaking. What’s perhaps more significant at this stage, though, is less their romantic partnership and more their business partnership, for Linda and Icke’s children by her would, to this day, be the main movers in Icke’s UK self-publishing company. The company – originally called Bridge of Love so as to leverage its way into the New Age market, then rebranded as David Icke Books, then rebranded as Ickonic for Icke’s latest book (The Trigger) – was a necessary platform for Icke after he was disowned by his previous publishers, the New Age press Gateway.
Gateway had good reasons to drop Icke; in his first major conspiracy theory tome, The Robots’ Rebellion, he’d claimed that the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was a real blueprint for world domination, following the lead of Bill Cooper and Stephen Knight in claiming that the secret society behind the global conspiracy had done a cheeky find-and-replace job on the Protocols to incriminate Jewish people.
Whereas Stephen Knight had broadly gotten away with this and Bill Cooper, whilst not exactly getting away with it, was lucky enough to have a publisher who simply didn’t care about denunciations of Behold a Pale Horse (particularly when Behold a Pale Horse was making them significantly more money than anything else on their catalogue), Icke was unfortunate in that Gateway operated at a very specific level of editorial sloppiness. Specifically, they were editorially lax enough to let the book come out citing the Protocols in the first place, but had enough concern for the impact on their bottom line to stop putting out Icke’s stuff after the inevitable backlash.
Icke’s income would now be based on two things: his books and his lecture tours. It was in the course of a lecture tour of the Caribbean that he would encounter Pamela Leigh Richards. Icke had shortly before had been primed by cold reading scam artist Derek Acorah to expect to meet a new woman in his life, and Icke and Richards were soon an item, with Icke divorcing Linda and marrying Pamela in 2001 (apparently amicably, or at least without sufficient rancour to persuade Linda to walk away from owning and operating Bridge of Love).
Through Richards, Icke met Royal Adams, a US-based businessman. By the end of the 1990s, Icke and Adams had reached an agreement: Adams would set up Bridge of Love US and take responsibility for distributing Icke’s books in the USA, and in return Adams would get a cut of the profits. Having someone in the US dedicating their time to cracking the market would be advantageous in any publishing field, but in addition the “paranoid style” has never quite gone out of style in American politics; the States was perhaps the hungriest market in the English-speaking world for the sort of conspiracy-peddling that Icke was engaged in, and cracking that market would be the next major step in promoting Icke’s ideas.
It’s quite fortuitous, then, that the beginning of Icke’s deal with Adams would coincide with a major new dimension entering into his writing. The first book distributed under the deal, The Biggest Secret, was in many ways Icke’s big break in the US, as well as his major claim to continued infamy; if you haven’t heard about David Icke from his infamous Wogan interview and earlier controversies, odds are you know him for some of the ideas he espoused in the book. The text managed to become a big hit in the conspiracy world through a simple technique: taking a major recent event, explaining it through a conspiratorial lens, and tying this in to an eye-catchingly bold claim. The recent event was the death of Princess Diana. And the bold claim?
Lizard people, dear reader.
The Biggest Secret
This is it: the book where the villainous humanoid reptile people from the lower fourth dimension show up. In fact, they’re the stars of the show: the titular “biggest secret” is that the Reptoids are the ultimate controllers of the Illuminati, with the global conspiracy’s leadership made up of a series of interlocking elite bloodlines comprising, in order of increasing importance, humans who willingly collaborate with the lizard people, humans who have some reptile ancestry which makes them particularly vulnerable to being possessed and puppeteered by reptilians, and the full-bore Reptoid-types themselves who are shapeshifters who disguise themselves as human beings. Most of the British royal family are the latter, and the House of Windsor is a major hub of the conspiracy; Princess Diana was born and bred to be a symbolic Moon goddess, her assassination being a ritualistic murder intended to help feed the dark forces that rule the world and reinforce the cosmic prison the Reptoids keep us in.
This isn’t a radical departure from the worldview Icke expressed in …And the Truth Shall Set You Free; he already said there that he believed the global conspiracy reported to fourth dimension extraterrestrials serving the Prison Warder Consciousness, all he’s done here is more precisely identify the extraterrestrials in question. Likewise, the idea of malevolent Reptoids as the puppetmasters behind the Illuminati had (perhaps thanks to the TV show V) been in circulation for a while; I have fond memories of reading the wild text files issued forth by the mysterious “Branton” who put a lot of energy into pushing the theory online back in the mid-1990s.
However, integrating the Reptoid idea into his existing conspiracy structure, naming and shaming specific Reptoids, and tying all this in to an utterly wild take on the death of Princess Diana (effectively giving it the James Shelby Downard/From Hell treatment – and indeed he cites and endorses Downard’s analysis of the Kennedy assassination as mass mind control ritual) proved to be a dynamite mixture for Icke. The Reptoid thing has become by far the most infamous of his conspiracy theories, and has won him international recognition – in part as a result of his deal with Royal Adams successfully getting this book into wide distribution in the US. In general, if you’ve heard of Icke and you don’t know about the whole Wogan/purple tracksuit/Son of the Godhead thing, you know him as the lizard people guy.
As we’ve seen so far, for someone who claims to be a radical free-thinker, Icke is actually very prone to invest heavily in other people’s ideas. Psychic friends of his from Betty Shine to Mari Shawsun to Ayem and Yeva influenced his thinking extensively, for instance, and The Robots’ Rebellion was largely built on ripping off William Bramley’s The Gods of Eden with a side dish of pickings from Bill Cooper’s Behold a Pale Horse.
The Biggest Secret is no different; though it does dip into a wide range of theories and dubious sources – he actually cites Geoffrey of Monmouth as a valid historical source, for crying out loud – there are a set of informants that Icke leans on more than others. A lot of the “bloodline” stuff, for instance, comes from Fritz Springmeier’s idea that the Illuminati leadership consists of thirteen interwoven aristocratic families. The book is closely linked to two videos that Icke released at around the same time – both of which he’s now uploaded in his entirety to YouTube along with the rest of his video/DVD releases, I guess because he’s decided that videos on physical media are no longer a viable commercial product so instead of taking on the expense of keeping his back catalogue in stock he may as well just use it as advertising for his books. Each of these videos focuses on a particular informant that Icke leans on a lot in the book.
One of them, which was actually produced after the first edition of the book was published, is The Reptilian Agenda. This is an epic six-hour interview with Credo Mutwa, a maverick Zulu traditional healer, who claims that Zulu myth reveals the existence of the Reptoids. (Other healers dispute this.) The major difference between the first and second editions of The Biggest Secret, aside from the removal of Royal Adams’ name as Icke’s business contact point in the US, is that Icke expands greatly on the passing mentions he’d made to Mutwa and incorporates way more references to The Reptilian Agenda.
The other video, and one which was produced very much in conjunction with The Biggest Secret and informed its text, is Revelations of a Mother Goddess, an interview with Arizona Wilder. Wilder claims that she was forced by Reptoids to play a “mother Goddess” role in abhorrent secret rituals, and is Icke’s main eyewitness for royal family members shapeshifting into their true Reptoid form.
Wilder’s story is not unique; it’s reminiscent in some respect of Cathy O’Brien’s claims of having been an MKULTRA mind controlled multiple personality sex slave in Trance Formation of America, a book Icke gives sufficient importance to he actually republished it for the European market through Bridge of Love. O’Brien merely makes occasional allusions to major figures turning into reptiles before her eyes, and doesn’t seem to actually believe in the Reptoids – she argues instead that these were hallucinations induced as part of the mind control process used on her. Wilder, however, is far more specific and adamant that the royal family 100% are Reptilians, and Icke quotes from her extensively in this book.
Some interesting information about how Wilder came into the picture arises in Ivan Fraser’s denunciation of Icke and The Biggest Secret which I linked to in the last article. (Apologies for the somewhat lacklustre formatting of that copy, but it’s the most complete and least cluttered version of Fraser’s statements I can find.) If you read the previous article you’ll remember that Fraser was a fellow conspiracy theorist and editor of the magazine The Truth Campaign. He claims to have been one of Icke’s proofreaders for The Biggest Secret, and thus is in a position to see how the book changed between the earlier draft he reviewed and the final product.
Some of the conclusions Fraser jumps to in that article are just as odd as anything in The Biggest Secret, but there’s at least some points which we can substantiate. Fraser does indeed seem to have been on good terms with Icke at some point; in early editions of The Biggest Secret there’s an entire full-page plug for The Truth Campaign in which Icke urges his readers to read Fraser’s magazine. What Fraser has to say about Wilder is interesting less for the conspiratorial conclusions that he comes to and more for what it reveals about how Wilder came into the picture; Fraser claims that she was introduced to Icke by Brian Desborough, who is indeed extensively cited in the book.
Fraser frets about the possibility of nefarious forces hacking Icke and his proofreaders’ computers in order to feed Arizona Wilder information, so that she could give him a big crock of Reptoid-flavoured shit which would then take him down the “reptilian extraterrestrials rule the world” rabbithole and thus discredit his work. I am not sure that you need to stretch that far when a far better explanation can be arrived at from the facts Fraser is able to convey: he himself notes that Desborough introduced Wilder to Icke after Desborough himself proofread an earlier version of the book, that would mean Desborough had every opportunity to either prime Wilder himself to play up to the Reptoid theory and tell Icke what he wanted to hear or pass a copy of the manuscript to Wilder so she could read up on it herself.
Either way, Wilder has now denounced (part 1, part 2) the interview and her part in it. The way she describes all of this doesn’t shed that much light on the truth behind her motives for doing it in the first place – she claims she was mind controlled to do so with Desborough and Icke’s full knowledge, and makes those claims in terms which are highly reminiscent of the persecutory delusions experienced by people with some mental illnesses. That doesn’t really get Icke or Desborough off the hook, however – indeed, if either of them knowingly encouraged someone in a mental health crisis to go deeper into their delusions for the sake of promoting a theory, that’s pretty wretched behaviour. (If they thought she was being sincere, however, then they’re just being insincere – and crappy researchers, given that it would surely not be that hard to discredit Wilder’s story if you attempted to corroborate it.)
Wilder’s testimony is based on a stomach-churning ordeal of near-constant bloodletting, vampirism, human sacrifice, rape, and child abuse, and Icke is happy to expand on most of those subjects over the course of the book. He’s decided here that Satanism – which he uses as an umbrella term for any veneration of dark forces – is how the core of the global conspiracy gets its kicks and accomplishes his ritual ends, and he ends up drawing heavily on Satanic Panic conspiracy theories for his picture of how it all works – right down to giving credence to David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz, just like Pat Pulling did in her conspiracy-filled The Devil’s Web. There’s this really disturbing tendency of Satanic Ritual Abuse conspiracy theorists to give really explicit and gruesome details about the abuse they’re alleging exists, and Icke indulges in this wholeheartedly.
I said before, in discussing The Devil’s Web, that a lot of the Satanic Ritual Abuse conspiracy theories creep a little close to being a revival of the Blood Libel, since both myths are rooted in the idea that there’s a group of people from the Wrong Religion out there who are deliberately sacrificing innocent youths for diabolical ritual purposes – the simple difference being that with SRA the Wrong Religion is Satanism and with the Blood Libel the Wrong Religion is Judaism. Now, let’s take stock of The Biggest Secret: we have an allegation that there is a group of people out there, related by blood and a distinct race unto themselves, who have parasitised humanity and who conduct horrible blood sacrifices for ritual purposes. If anything, this is even closer to the original Blood Libel than SRA theories are – and all this comes from someone who’s previously flirted with Holocaust denial and has overtly endorsed the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as being on some level a genuine policy document of the global conspiracy (albeit tampered with to ensure that blame would fall on Jewish people as a whole).
In the light of the above, it is unsurprising that once again many organisations and individuals accused Icke of antisemitism on the basis of The Biggest Secret. Frankly, given how pernicious the Blood Libel has been over the centuries, I 100% do not blame Jewish advocacy groups for leaping on anything which even remotely smells like it; even if it isn’t specifically targeted at Jewish people, it’s just close enough to ideas which have been weaponised for the sake of sparking off pogroms and genocide that it well and truly isn’t worth the risk of letting the idea take seed.
That said, I think some of the backlash against the book has ended up being derailed on the Reptoid issue – in particular, on the question of whether Icke really and truly does believe that the Reptoids are real, or whether he is using “reptilian” as a sneaky codeword for “Jewish”. I don’t know whether he thinks the Reptoids are real, but I don’t think he is using “Reptoid” as a codeword here; he’s more than willing to directly note that Jewish individuals are Jewish, and indeed is willing to go out of his way to suggest that people who are not generally accepted as being Jewish are, in fact, Jewish.
(In particular, in one of the appendices he claims that Hitler was a Rothschild, repeating baseless rumours that Maria Schicklgruber, Hitler’s paternal grandmother, had worked for a “Baron Rothschild” as a maid and had been impregnated by him. This is supposed to imply that Hitler was a willing tool of the Rothschilds because… something something mumble mumble.)
Frankly, I just don’t think it would make any sense for Icke to use codewords like this to avoid accusations of antisemitism when elsewhere in the book he’s still got various references to the Protocols (yes, he still talks about them here), because it should have become crystal clear to him by now that the “no no, it’s not the Jewish agenda, it’s the Illuminati agenda!” excuse simply wasn’t working. In addition, it genuinely seems to be the case that Icke wants to tie the Reptoids to a range of religious and ethnic backgrounds, and in fact he seems to claim that they are most closely associated with his version of the Aryan race – blonde-haired, blue eyed folk who came to Earth from Mars and who were followed here by the Reptoids, who are all tsundere for the Aryans or something and interbred with them a lot. (Icke puts a lot of weight on supposed Aryan features of Prince William, son of Charles and Diana – and of course he pushes the idea here that Charles is a Reptoid.)
On top of that, focusing too much on the Reptoid thing only serves to deflect attention from the genuinely antisemitic ideas Icke peddles here. Once again, Icke raises the Khazar theory in a bid to argue that large numbers of Jewish people are not authentically Jewish, and goes further and more or less directly states that “there is no such thing as the Jewish race”. (This makes his use of Khazar ancestry to claim that certain individuals aren’t really Jews a bit muddled – if Judaism is a faith, not a race, and there is no such thing as a Jewish race, why can’t someone of Khazar ancestry be a Jew?) He also continues his highly anti-organised religion angle from …And the Truth Shall Set You Free here, and if anything is even more vehement about it, and he makes it clear that he considers the Jewish faith to be, like Christianity, a fabricated spin-off from the Aryan Sun religion as corrupted by the Reptoids.
Once again, Icke claims he has no problem with Jewish people – but if he denies them any status as an ethnicity and treats their religion like it’s a load of garbage, exactly what aspect of Jewish culture or behaviour does he actually approve of? It seems like Icke would only feel able to unreservedly cheer a Jewish individual who jettisoned their ethnic and religious identity entirely, walked away from their faith, and started believing more or less the same thing he believes in. (Despite claiming to be open minded, I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Icke is willing to accuse anyone who disagrees with him of being a dupe of the Reptoids, if not an actual Illuminati agent.) If this sort of virulent hatred of Jewish identity isn’t antisemitism, what is? The fact that Icke feels similarly about followers of other organised religions (and secular humanism or scientific materialism) doesn’t make it less antisemitic – it just makes him a broad-spectrum bigot, equally up for a bit of Catholic-baiting, Islamophobia, and so on.
(He also seems to be incorporating a somewhat anti-feminist slant into his work, or at the very least a gender essentialist one; he claims that a lot of the highest Illuminati leadership are actually women, and the apparent social bias towards giving power to men stems from the fact that the dark side of male energy is very violent and forceful – tending to put powerful men in the public eye – whilst the dark side of female energy is intrinsically secretive and manipulative, so powerful women tend to remain in the shadows.)
On the religion front, we see Icke continuing to veer away from the positions he’d held in his earlier books. He’d denounced Theosophy in …And the Truth Shall Set You Free and does so again here in similar terms (to the point where I think he just copy-pasted a bunch of the text and then did some edits), whereas his earliest spiritual books were clearly based on a Theosophical foundation. He makes another major break with his previous books here by arguing that, far from being a real spiritual teacher whose approach was badly misrepresented by the Illuminati, Jesus Christ in fact never actually existed at all, endorsing the theory that Christ was yet another regurgitated iteration of a Messiah myth which was common around the Mediterranean at that time. This is a gear shift from his previous work which raises a lot of questions, particularly since Icke’s view of Christ was supposedly informed by a great deal of channelled information.
It’s also a step away from classical Gnosticism into Icke’s new take on it. In old school Gnosticism, Christ was sent from the plemora on a special mission to reveal the truth about the Demiurge’s false reality and allow the sparks of divinity within us to return to the plemora and be reunited with the true God. Who is taking that role in Ickean Gnosticism, now that Jesus is declared to have no longer existed? Perhaps various individuals – Icke doesn’t seem to have yet abandoned the idea of volunteer souls choosing to be incarnating here to help liberate Earth from its spiritual prison – but who is most loudly and publicly proclaiming the truth about the Reptoid-controlled prison planet to their fellow prisoners? Why, it’s Icke of course…
One thing which is rather astonishing about the book is that, even more so than …And the Truth Shall Set You Free, it goes out of its way to generate outrage in its readers at the terrible things those wicked, wicked Weptoids have done, but then closes by advocating taking no substantive practical action whatsoever to stop them. Instead, we should just float about full of love for each other and beaming love at the conspirators, who like the baddies in a Care Bears cartoon will find that said love drives them up the emotional vibrational scale (just as the terror their actions induce in the populace is intended to drive us down the scale), causing the conspiracy to unravel.
Again, I am left entirely unsurprised that other conspiracy theorists have accused Icke of being a plant intended to encourage people to waste their energy on New Age alternative medicine nonsense instead of taking concrete steps to facilitate social change – because if he were, this is exactly what he’d be saying. It’s even more galling this time because Icke has spent the entire book viciously demonising the Reptoids, especially the royal family, and filling the reader’s heads with vivid visions of the horrifying shit that the Reptoids get up to. Simultaneously believing that all of that is true and feeling love for them is a big ask, but as ever Icke thinks that other people can just change their emotional reaction to stuff on a whim.
Something happened during the development of The Biggest Secret which, in retrospect, turned out to be really useful for the purposes of structuring the book. That thing was the death of Princess Diana, Dodi al-Fayed, and their deeply irresponsible drunk driver Henri Paul in a car accident in Paris… wait, I mean her assassination by the royal family. Without the Diana assassination, The Biggest Secret would have either flailed aimlessly or just ended up being a rote restatement of The Robots’ Rebellion and Truth Shall Set You Free with a few more retcons and reptiles. With the Diana thing, Icke had something to build to, a major JFK-level event which he could use to illustrate all of the points he’d developed over the course of the book.
It didn’t hurt that Princess Diana conspiracy theories were thick on the ground at the time – or that back when the book was published there was a baffling number of people (in the UK especially) who’d go absolutely soft in the head and gushy in the heart whenever the subject of Diana came up. (It feels like the numbers have declined somewhat with the passage of time, but I’m sure there’s still a few Diana cultists out there.) Until it had some nice tasty Brexit to get its teeth into, shitty illiterate somehow-to-the-right-of-the-Daily Mail tabloid the Daily Express was infamous for its tenaciously hanging on to Diana conspiracy theories long after the general public had stopped caring. Mohamed al-Fayed, the megarich owner of Harrods and Dodi’s daddy, has been a big booster of those conspiracy theories, and has flipped from courting the British establishment to formenting a feud with the royals, directly accusing Prince Philip of ordering the assassination.
The Biggest Secret does not, however, follow the al-Fayed party line. One wonders what conclusions Icke might have reached had al-Fayed showed willing to fund his research – as he has funded others. Nonetheless, it’s clear that Icke’s ideas have made some headway into the Diana conspiracist community – at least one of the bootleg YouTube releases of Unlawful Killing, a 2011 documentary funded by al-Fayed that was eventually not formally released due to concerns over libel suits, has excerpts from an Icke lecture tacked onto the end after the credits.
One of the refreshing things about Icke’s theory is that he seems to regard al-Fayed as being just as involved in the conspiracy as the royal family – suggesting that lapses in Dodi and Diana’s security arrangements were in part al-Fayed’s fault, and making the case that al-Fayed was deliberately trying to pair off Dodi and Diana with each other. In a case of stopped clocks being right twice a day, I actually think Icke has the kernel of a point here: whether he nudged Dodi into dating Diana from the start or simply jumped in to do what he could to facilitate the relationship after it began, it’s pretty clear that al-Fayed exercised a lot of effort into encouraging things along, and it’s entirely plausible that he had some ulterior motive for doing so above and beyond being a cool dad who wants to help his son get some privacy with his super-famous girlfriend. The social cachet al-Fayed and his family would have gained had Dodi and Diana married would have been appreciable, after all.
But of course, Icke is not as pragmatic and cynical as I am when it comes to analysing human motivations: whereas I believe that people often do stuff off their own bat out of selfish and somewhat tawdry motivations, Icke believes people do stuff at the prompting of a grand conspiracy in the pursuit of a plan of cosmic proportions – in this case, the ritual killing of Diana as a means of manipulating the vibrational level of Earth to keep us beholden to the powers of the lower fourth dimension.
One commonality Icke has with other Diana conspiracy theorists is that he tends to treat Diana as an utter saint. This is just good business sense; Diana fandom treats her as being this purer than pure special little angel, in defiance both of all logic and her own admissions about herself, and will not hear a bad word about her. This means that Icke sets up a huge paradox which he never, ever addresses, and in fact steers into at points. Icke emphasises that the Spencer family are part of the global elite network of bloodlines, hypes up how many other elite bloodlines they are connected to, hypes up Prince William’s Aryan features, reiterates loudly that Prince Charles is a full-blown Reptoid, and strongly argues that Earl Spencer is himself in deep with the global conspiracy. We’re told, over and over again, that the elite bloodlines are Reptoids in this book.
So… wouldn’t Diana have been a Reptoid? Or, at the very least, one of these human-reptilian hybrids prone to getting possessed by a Reptoid? If that’s the case, why was she so difficult to handle? Why wasn’t she in with the other Reptoids, or possessed to do exactly what she was told? Why didn’t Arizona Wilder report seeing Diana turning into a lizardy-wizard and do black magic with the rest of the royals? Even if Diana-the-human were a perfect saint, why didn’t she ever do any evil shit whilst possessed by a fourth dimensional puppetmaster?
And if she was a genuinely innocent, human product of an Elite bloodline… doesn’t that put paid to the idea that these elites are corrupt? After all, in the rest of the book merely having a familial connection to the elites is considered to be enough to make you suspect. Why didn’t their indoctrination processes work on her the way they are assumed to work for all other members of the elite?
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about The Biggest Secret is that, in idolising Diana to the extent that it does, it does more to portray her as a perfect goddess than the alleged conspiracy ever did – and it directly undermines its own central thesis. Perhaps the real Biggest Secret is that some people will believe any ridiculous shit if you jabber at them long enough, and once you’ve snared them you can pump them for money by rehashing the exact same book over and over again…
Children of the Matrix
This is basically The Biggest Secret 2: Reptoid Boogaloo. Without a major event to tie the book’s various strands together, it’s much more woolly and meandering, as Icke goes on about the latest tranche of evidence he’s dug up of the whole reptoid thing. There’s a desultory attempt at the end to riff on The Matrix, which I guess you could take as an early instance of “red pill” rhetoric (Icke’s ideas do have a certain among /pol/-derived QAnon types), but it’s not developed enough to really constitute as strong a conclusion as “Diana was murdered as part of a vast act of ritual magic to affect the vibrational energies of the world”.
I use the word “evidence”, but let’s be clear: Icke takes a broad view of such things. As we’ve seen above, he is entirely willing to take the word of the likes of Arizona Wilder on a subject as read; frequently in his book he cites stories told to him by readers writing in, without doing the legwork involved to attempt to corroborate their stories. Whether this is because he doesn’t understand the importance of independently checking up the facts or because he knows on some level that the stories in question won’t stand up to such scrutiny is besides the point; either way, Icke regularly puts great stock in allegations made by people with an agenda (or, as I suspect in some cases, flat-out trolls).
In the “pushing an agenda” category, Icke takes up the cause of a mother making allegations of Satanic Ritual Abuse against the Kindercare childcare company. So far as I can tell these allegations are entirely baseless, and seem to be based mostly on kids telling stories which they know will get positive reinforcement from adults, at the prompting of adults out to rake up controversy, just as with so many Satanic Ritual Abuse cases.
In particular, there’s more or less no real evidence presented beyond the statements of a certain Zack, whose allegations amount to suggestions that Kindercare put blood in the oatmeal and have tunnels under their facilities containing “blustering toys” which “blow everything around and make it cold” and so on and so forth – at points Zack’s testimony supposedly veers back to more conventional-sounding child abuse stuff, but 99% of it seems to be absolutely bizarre nonsense of the sort that’s more reminiscent of a preschool kid trying to think up spoopy stuff rather than stuff that actually happens. So far as I can tell, nobody has taken up Zack’s specific story other than Icke himself, though Kindercare would later get latched onto by Pizzagate, the weird offspring of 4chan and a mass of recycled Satanic Ritual Abuse theories.
It’s not just personal testimony that Icke falls back on, however – he’s also been at his books again. Icke’s magpie-like tendency to grab at any and all sources which catch his eyes not only give his books a certain value as a snapshot of what the currently hot subjects in conspiracy theory land are, but also means that they act as a running commentary on his current reading habits.
This time around, Icke gets in deep on the theories of L.A. Waddell, an amateur archaeologist whose theories were happily embraced by hardcore racists in the early 20th Century when he tried to argue that the ancient Sumerian civilisation a) pretty much invented civilisation with no predecessors, b) spanned from Western Europe all the way to India, and c) was founded by Europeans who travelled east, rather than anyone indigenous to the Middle East.
Waddell went so far as to claim that the Poetic Edda, far from being an Icelandic document, was actually an ancient British text – to the point where he called it the British Edda; this served his claim that the Norse myths, the legends of King Arthur, and classical mythology all referred to the same set of mythologised kings and heroes of a bygone age of the Sumerian super-empire. Icke goes in deep on the British Edda thing here because it suits his argument that the headquarters of the global conspiracy eventually migrated to the City of London.
We can add King Arthur, then, to the list of figures – including Jesus Christ, the Knights Templar, and Francis Bacon and the circles around him – who got cited a lot back in Icke’s Truth Vibrations period, but whose current depiction in his work is decidedly different from his original claims about them. Icke still like to cite Truth Vibrations whenever something which he sort-of-kind-of predicted if you squint at it sort-of-kind-of happens-ish, but he now considers the Templars and Bacon to be malevolent Illuminati agents, Christ to have never existed at all, and King Arthur to be a mythological figure from the history of the Reptoid-controlled Sumerian Empire, rather than a refugee from Atlantis who helped dial down the world’s energy network for benign reasons. (For that matter, Icke now believes that the powering-down of the energy network was an entirely malevolent move to put into effect the Reptoid control of Earth.)
There is no real need for Icke to embrace Waddell’s Sumerian super-empire theory, since he’s already going all-in on the idea of Atlantis and Lemuria having been real places who spread their civilisations globally before they sank (citing, once again, The Book of Dzyan as a source on this, suggesting that despite his reservations about Blavatsky and Theosophists he’s happy to draw on material that Blavatsky is the only real source for). If you already have one super-ultimate root civilisation in your alternate history of Earth, there seems to be little point of latching on to another one, unless you want to really emphasise the idea of “Aryan” peoples as civilisation-builders.
Except, weirdly, Icke seems to have a mild distrust of the Aryans due to their long history of interbreeding with and manipulation by the Reptilians, though he plays up the idea of an Aryan/Nordic-Reptoid conflict unfolding across the galaxy here, so perhaps he’s trying to hint that there are good Aryans who have managed to retain their moral rectitude and enlightened outlook by virtue of combating the influence of evil infiltrators who want to interbreed with them and contaminate their blood.
On this subject: he does acknowledge that Diana was part of a Reptoid bloodline here, though he comes up with a really wild argument as to why she wasn’t a Reptoid herself: she instead expressed her Aryan/Nordic genes because she was spiritually a good and pure soul and so rose above the Reptilian level of spiritual evolution. Icke apparently remembered that he puts a lot of stock in the idea that we are all one on a spiritual level, so he can claim that on the spiritual plain being a Reptoid is less about genetics and more about your attitude to things: “Reptoid” is a stage in spiritual development which is a bit above where we are at, and the Reptoids are trying to keep us down to stop us leapfrogging them on the spiritual ladder or whatever.
Though he remains happy to draw on New Age ideas, Icke continues his increasing amping-up of his hostility towards the New Age in general, and extends this to airing his feuds against particular figures there. Icke has gone from heartily endorsing Nexus magazine to snidely commenting about how much coverage they give the wacky claims of Laurence Gardner – one of the more outlandish dudes to hop onto the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail bandwagon, whose theories largely seem to be dedicated to persuading the world that one of his buddies is the true Stuart heir to the British throne. Icke claims here that Gardner is an Illuminati insider; this is a repetition of a claim made in Revelations of a Mother Goddess by Arizona Wilder that she’d seen Gardner in attendance at Reptoid ritual blood orgies. The allegation prompted an angry response from Nexus‘ publisher; funnily enough, whilst Nexus got namedropped a lot in The Biggest Secret, it isn’t cited so much here.
The New Age isn’t uniquely picked on here, though – as usual, Icke is very harsh about more or less all organised religion, and has now reached the point where he denounces Christianity as basically being a front for Satanism – the symbolic drinking of Christ’s blood and eating of his flesh during Holy Communion effectively being a sanitised version of what Christian leaders get up to with their Satanist buddies behind the scenes. There’s a certain irony in the fact that, given that Icke’s essentially pedalling an update of the Blood Libel, mainstream Christianity has ended up being targeted by it.
Yet again, Icke does himself no favours in the antisemitism stakes. Despite continuing to argue that he isn’t an antisemite, he also continues to run down both the conception of Jewishness as an ethnic or racial identity and the actual practices and beliefs of Judaism, so we’re back in the territory of “I’m OK with Jewish people so long as they totally abandon all sense of Jewish identity or shared culture” here. Two of the three appendices related to Icke going off on one about some subjects near-guaranteed to cause massive offence among Jewish people and folk with a functional conscience. Why he has these as separate appendices when he shows all willingness to just dump a tangent into the middle of the main text of the book is beyond me; I suspect it’s to make it easier to cut the specific material in question in the event that distributors insist on it.
The first of the three appendices is a restatement of the summary of Illuminati genealogy which was also included as an appendix in The Biggest Secret. The second is an expansion of the one in The Biggest Secret about Hitler being a Rothschild (a story which is still total bullshit). The third has Icke veering closest to Holocaust denial as he’s ever come; it’s entitled The Jewish Voice of Reason and has him hyping the work of Norman Finkelstein, specifically The Holocaust Industry. For those not familiar with it, The Holocaust Industry is a deeply controversial book in which Finkelstein argues that the Holocaust has been wholesale exploited for profiteering and to garner support for Israel, and that a bunch of survivors of the Holocaust in fact aren’t Holocaust survivors at all.
The reasons why this would cause a certain amount of controversy are obvious. The idea that a bunch of Holocaust survivors are just faking it does not, of course, constitute a direct denial that the Holocaust happened – Finkelstein, so far as I’m aware, is entirely convinced that it did. As well as being scathing about David Irving’s Nazi sympathies, more generally Finkelstein seems to take the position that Holocaust denial is delusional nonsense; his main treatment of the subject in the book, apparently, takes the stance that Holocaust denial is an idea propagated by irrelevant cranks, with no more real cultural influence or widespread appeal than the idea that the Earth is flat. (Finkelstein was, of course, writing decades before the current online fad for Flat Eartherism…)
However, it’s obviously a theory which Holocaust denials love to latch onto and hype up, for reasons which are pretty obvious: if survivors’ testimonies are not to be trusted, that helps with the overall project of Holocaust denial of persuading people that the Holocaust never happened. Whilst Finkelstein might want to retain a stance of “I fully believe the Holocaust happened, I just don’t think it happened to you“, it seems short-sighted of him to imagine that this stance wouldn’t lend credence to nastier and more directly antisemitic individuals who are all too happy to use Finkelstein’s Jewish identity as a shield for their own views. (“I can’t be an antisemite, this one Jewish guy believes me!”) And ultimately, if you are claiming that nothing at all happened to a particular survivor, and actually it’s demonstrable that something very much did happen to them, you genuinely have undertaken an act of Holocaust denial – maybe you haven’t denied the entire Holocaust as a phenomenon, but you absolutely have denied the particular effects it had on the survivor or groups of survivors you claim are no survivors at all.
Naturally, Icke falls all over this, cherrypicking a bunch of Finkelstein quotes which generally pour cold water on the narratives of Holocaust survivors and generally minimising any mention of Finkelstein’s more derogatory attitudes towards Holocaust deniers… assuming, that is, Icke had actually read that material.
You see, when I was researching this article I discovered a funny thing. I decided to Google some of the particular quotes Icke had picked out to see if he’d taken them out of context, and I stumbled across an old Guardian article from 2000, which would have first appeared when Icke was in the middle of writing this book. This consists of an extensive extract from the book, along with a set of cherrypicked quotes from elsewhere in the books on various topics.
Each and every one of the quotes Icke selects for this appendix is sourced solely from this Guardian article. We are talking some 18 quotes, between them accounting for a substantial amount of the text, rather than just one or two. Literally every word of them, where Icke hasn’t snipped some words out, is sourced from this article.
If Icke had really, genuinely read Finkelstein’s book, then I’d have thought that in taking a selection of 18 quotes he’d have ended up grabbing something which wasn’t in the Guardian article. As it stands, the evidence strongly suggests that Icke just grabbed the article, chose some quotes from it, and put it out, raising the very real possibility that Icke hadn’t actually read Finkelstein’s book at the time of writing the appendix – and yet there’s Icke heartily endorsing Finkelstein and his book to the extent of selling it through his website. It’s unbelievable – but then again, “unbelievable” is pretty much Icke’s middle name.
One last thought. Icke in this book talks a lot about how the coming New World Order is going to see the Reptoid takeover of this world completed. The problem with all this is that, if his view of history is to be believed, the Reptoids never lost control. More or less every important culture, nation, society, Empire, clan or tribe has been manipulated from the shadows or overtly by the Reptoids, that’s the way it’s always been, and the overall course of society has been steered by them from the start. If that is so, why would they spend so long plotting to take control of a world they already had control of? Why would they have the Masons kick off the Enlightment and spread all of those ideals of personal freedom when that’s just causing them problems down the line? Why wouldn’t they have shaped society in order to persuade us to adore and worship the Reptoids and consider being bloodily murdered and abused by them to be a wonderful thing? There’s a major failure of imagination here: if the Reptoids were as powerful as Icke claims they are, then they could have done so much more than he claims that they actually did.
Alice In Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster
9/11 was God’s gift to conspiracy theorists for two reasons. The obvious one is that it was a nightmarish disaster unfolding on live television at the heart of what was then considered the world’s leading superpower (China’s caught up now), a where-where-you-when-you-heard moment on the level of the Kennedy assassination and Pearl Harbour.
The less obvious one is the abhorrent way the Bush administration behaved around the invasion of Iraq, justifying it on the grounds of flimsy intelligence about weapons of mass destruction and happily conflating it with the wider War On Terror. The blatant machinations of Dick Cheney and his contacts at Halliburton surrounding the whole affair, combined with the disastrous management of the invasion itself and the sheer needless loss of life, took an international consensus and a reserve of goodwill which had amassed in the immediate wake of 9/11 and which the invasion of Afghanistan hadn’t really shaken that much and then utterly squandered it.
It takes a lot to go from the “We are all Americans” feeling of the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and then go to the sheer levels of virulent anti-Americanism so many were feeling in the wider world by the end of the Bush administration, but by God did the White House manage it with gusto. In subsequent years, Bush the Elder would openly blame Cheney and other hawks for ruining Bush the Younger’s foreign policy – which, when you think about it, is kind of a sick burn on Bush the Younger’s decision-making and capacity to come to his own conclusions, but there you go. Between that and the domestic nastiness unleashed by the Patriot Act and a generally tolerant attitude towards violations of people’s civil rights, and Bush the Younger’s administration ended up taking the US down a road which, now that I remember those times, was really just as dark and bleak as the Trump administration – it’s just that Bush the Younger tended to export more misery to other continents, whereas Trump is more keen on inflicting domestic misery against vulnerable populations at home.
The utter villainy of the Bush regime hawks after 9/11, in my view, poured gasoline (extracted from the arteries of murdered Iraqis, just the way Cheney likes it) on the conspiracy theories around 9/11. If, after all, 9/11 had been an inside job cynically set up in order to construct support for a ceaseless “war on terror” which could be used as an excuse to invade Iraq (and commit all sorts of other vile acts in pursuit of US foreign policy), you’d expect the Bush administration to behave more or less exactly as they did in the aftermath of 9/11.
9/11 conspiracy theories of the “the Bush administration was in on it” variety tend to fall into two broad categories – conspiracy theorists have even given those categories names, MIHOP and LIHOP. MIHOP – “Made It Happen On Purpose” – is the hardcore version, the theory that the Bush administration or elements within it had an active hand in orchestrating 9/11 so that they could then advance their foreign policy goals through it. LIHOP – “Let It Happen On Purpose”, is the moderate position, or at least about as “moderate” as conspiracy theories get; it’s the idea that elements in the Bush administration knew damn well that the attack was coming, but didn’t take the action they could have taken to prevent it because they realised that they could exploit the event to benefit their agenda.
Personally, I think MIHOP is bunk – it requires too many essentially greedy and self-serving people to risk massive amounts of jail time and/or the death sentence for the sake of pursuing a foreign policy goal which they could equally well advance through entirely legal lobbying and influence.
That said, there’s moments where I can certainly see the appeal of LIHOP theories and even flirt with believing in them. The big strength of the LIHOP concept is that it doesn’t require an actual planned conspiracy – individual hawks in the Bush administration could have, off their own bat, chosen to turn a blind eye to certain reports or fail to take certain actions or give certain orders in the hopes of ultimately being able to advance their goals. It is indisputably documented that the Bush administration had received indications that some sort of attack was brewing, and all sorts of circumstances surrounding 9/11 where what looks like panic, confusion, or incompetence, could entirely believably have been deliberate foot-dragging.
The main weakness I see in LIHOP is that, for the purposes of stoking the flames of an eternal war against terrorism, foiling a terrorist attack is almost as good as the terrorist attack actually succeeding. Sure, the downside is that the strength of public feeling will inevitably be less intense – but there are important upsides, including being able to present yourselves as being competent sorts keeping America safe from the bad guys. “Those guys nearly flew jet liners into the World Trade Center, and we only just managed to stop them. We can’t tolerate such a close call again, which means you need to greenlight these operations in Afghanistan…” As well as making you look good, SIHOP (Stopping It Happening On Purpose) also has the advantage that there’s no need for any sort of cover-ups or shenanigans or embarrassing admissions of incompetence or dozing on the job afterwards – but LIHOP has all of those complications.
My personal 9/11 worldview I can sum up with some fun acronyms of my own: LIHTA (Let It Happen Through Apathy) and SIFAIWW (Squeezed It For All It Was Worth). LIHTA is the idea that 9/11 happened due to significant failures on the part of Bush administration figures, including Bush himself, to take the threat of terrorism within US borders nearly as seriously as they should have. SIFAIWW is the idea that once 9/11 happened, the Bush administration, well, squeezed it for all it was worth – cynically exploiting the deaths of thousands of people to the absolute hilt for the sake of advancing their pet agendas. Letting something happen through apathy is by definition not the result of a conspiracy – conspiracies are organisations intent on a proactive goal, LIHTA is an inherently reactive stance – and squeezing events for all they’re worth is not so much a trait of a conspiracy as it is a standard feature of any institutional response to a significant event.
I can 100% believe that once the attacks kicked off that Cheney and others’ first thoughts were less about the horror of what had happened or what they needed to do to ensure public safety and more about how they could spin this in a way useful to their ends. Could this have extended to the point of not taking urgent actions on the day which could, for instance, have stopped Flight 77 from reaching the Pentagon? Put it this way: I wouldn’t trust Cheney not to do it, any more than I would trust him not to, say, rip the throat out of a small child or cute fluffy animal with his teeth and gargle the blood. That’s not because I believe that Dick Cheney is a cannibalistic Reptoid, mind, just that I believe he’s a deeply evil man who’d commit infanticide or grotesque acts of animal cruelty if it will help his buddies in Halliburton.
Maybe that worldview takes me out on a limb, but I don’t think so – I think it puts me squarely in the middle of the road, to be honest. There probably are people out there who think not only that there was no LIHOP/MIHOP Bush administration conspiracy concerning 9/11 (a perfectly reasonable position I agree with), but also that the Bush administration’s response to 9/11 and symbolic use of it in subsequent years was good and appropriate and that the Iraq War was wholly justified. To be honest, I think such astonishing uncritical devotion to authority is its own form of extremism.
Naturally, David Icke goes about as far out on a limb as it’s possible to go when it comes to 9/11; not only does he endorse a MIHOP worldview in Alice In Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster, but he also uses it as a springboard to loudly, clearly, and defiantly make a bold declaration:
“I told you so.”
The MIHOP version of 9/11 is a textbook example of what Icke calls Problem-Reaction-Solution, which as I mentioned in his previous article he believes to be one of the main methods the Illuminati use to fabricate public support for measures they wish to take in their progress towards the New World Order. They create a Problem (Al-Qaeda knocking down skyscrapers with hijacked planes, say), they wait for the public Reaction and manipulate it through the media (so in this instance you’ve got the American public baying for justice), and then they roll out the Solution they wanted to implement all along (invading Afghanistan and kicking off an open-ended War On Terror).
Problem-Reaction-Solution, then, is pretty much an enunciation of the MIHOP idea before the MIHOP acronym was even coined. Icke was not the first to allege that secret cabals had engineered major public events in order to implement an agenda in response to it – such claims are a well-worn avenue of conspiracy theory logic. Icke’s “Problem-Reaction-Solution” formulation, however, is actually quite a neat summing up of this general class of theory. As I mentioned last article, I think the basic fallacy of it is that it assumes that people need to put the effort into creating the Problem in the first place, when in a world as big and busy as ours is I reckon you could find the Problem to fit your pet Solution if you looked hard enough, at which point all you need to do is stoke the Reaction in order to get what you want. Conspiracy theorists believe that Problems arise as a result of the malevolence of those proposing Solutions, whereas regular ol’ pessimists like me reckon that Problems are perfectly capable of happening by themselves, or at the instigation of people entirely independent from the Solution-proposers.
And, of course, if a really honking great Problem shows up which your Solution fits, you’d be a fool not to promote your Solution as soon as good taste allows (or, as we saw in the wake of 9/11, sooner); that doesn’t mean you conspired to make the Problem happen, it just means that the Problem happened to be very convenient for your Solution. That looks suspicious until you realise that more or less any event that happens is going to be capable of being turned to someone‘s agenda, because there’s billions of people on this planet all with their particular needs and goals. On that level, it would be more notable if a Problem came up where nobody was willing to step up and promote a Solution.
Still, the sheer eagerness with which those Project for a New American Century types popped up to wave their particular Solutions about in the wake of 9/11, combined with the sheer glowing malevolence of that crowd (I mean, the Project’s very name seems to have come from a supervillain organisation name generator) makes it very easy to suspect that there’s a Problem-Reaction-Solution angle going down with 9/11. In that respect, it’s no surprise that Icke made hay out of the situation, claiming that it was exactly the sort of thing he’d been predicting all along.
What is a surprise is that he spends more or less an entire book – a 500 page book, at that – mostly focusing on this single subject. Even in slimmer tomes of his such as The Truth Vibrations or I Am Me, I Am Free, Icke tends to meander around a lot and talk about more or less everything and anything which comes into his head. Alice In Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster is something of an anomaly in his post-Truth Vibrations bibliography: a book primarily focusing on a single subject and digging deep into that, rather than going into a more wide-ranging examination of Icke’s themes.
Perhaps the urge to get a bit of first-mover advantage in the 9/11 conspiracy field was a motivation here – the rush to get the book out lending Icke’s work a level of focus he wasn’t otherwise accustomed to. Say what you like about Icke, but you can’t claim he doesn’t have a work ethic when it comes to grinding out text; sure, he takes some shortcuts here and there by copy-pasting material from book to book, but even allowing for that the pace of his output is impressive – it’s the quality and content of his books which are more questionable.
Alice In Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster was, in fact, among the first major books to emerge enunciating 9/11 conspiracy theories, its first edition having emerged in October 2002. Of course, conspiracy theories began percolating around the subject literally before the dust had settled; Mark Jacobson’s Pale Horse Rider chronicled how Bill Cooper more or less cooked up many of the most iconic 9/11 conspiracy theories live on an epic 9-hour shortwave radio broadcast on the day itself. However, most theories had been confined to random articles and Internet postings scattered about here and there; there really isn’t much in the way of substantive, major books published on the conspiratorial view of 9/11 prior to this one. (There’s Thierry Meyssan’s L’Effroyable Imposture and Mathias Bröckers’ Verschwörungen, Verschwörungstheorien und die Geheimnisse des 11.9, and that’s about it so far as I can tell.)
Icke, then, had perfectly timed the release of the book to catch the groundswell of 9/11 conspiracism; the October 2002 publication of the book came a month after the first “Bush did it!” rallies in the USA, and in the context of a rising tide of scepticism about American foreign policy worldwide (particularly in Europe). 9/11 conspiracism would take a bit longer to really take off in the USA, and when it did Icke’s book was right there to ride the wave. Icke was once again going out on a limb by promoting a MIHOP view of 9/11 – but for once, it was a limb which a surprising number of people were willing to join him on.
In terms of the structure of the book, Icke again takes an unusual approach for his work. Rather than kicking off with his usual explanation of the chakras and the vibrational energy levels of the universe and whatnot, which he’d previously been accustomed to doing at the start of his books, he by and large kept all of that stuff (plus all the Reptoid material) to the last chapter or so; most of the book focuses on what Icke calls the “five sense” version of events – in other words, information based on physical evidence and actually perceived facts (or, at least, alleged facts), rather than anything based too much on more spiritually indistinct sources.
He isn’t quite disciplined enough to stick to that divide, mind; among the stuff he cites is evidence from a psychic who claimed to have contacted Mohammed Atta in the afterlife, where he was apparently quite grumpy about being set up as a patsy in the entire thing. On the whole, though, Icke actually remains true to this overall scheme. First he sets the stage by providing profiles of the major players in the Bush administration, which allows for a deep dive into Skull & Bones, Bohemian Grove, Iran-Contra, and other allegations of corrupt and devious practices on the part of the two Bush presidents, ranging from the actually credible to the deeply tenuous. Then he goes over the official story of what happened on 9/11, then he puts a lot of energy into poking holes in that.
The secret of filling some 400+ pages with that before getting into the whole “Surprise! It’s the Reptoids!” stuff is that Icke seems to have just compiled all the theories floating around at the time on the subject and thrown them out there. He dabbles in the theory that the Pentagon was actually hit by a cruise missile instead of a conventional plane, for instance, but he doesn’t seem to go into the wild idea that the planes that flew into the World Trade Center itself were actually holographic projections, either disguising missiles or just projected onto thin air with the actual explosions coming from the controlled demolition charges. Despite this idea tying in nicely with the holographic obsessions of his subsequent books, it hadn’t been circulating at this point in time, so it didn’t make the cut.
Generally, Icke’s books serve as snapshots of what’s circulating in conspiracy theory circles at their time of writing, but few do this quite as clearly as Alice In Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster, and I suspect anyone in the future doing research on the development of 9/11 conspiracy theories would find the first 90% or so of the book to be incredibly useful simply on that basis. This is particularly the case because Icke doesn’t actually nail his colours to any particular mast when it comes to outlining a theory of what actually happened on 9/11 – he airs a lot of possibilities without committing to any of them. His goal seems to be to persuade the reader that the official story is nonsense and that there’s a big conspiracy behind 9/11, but the specifics of that conspiracy are less important to him than creating the impression that there was one.
This is why collating and regurgitating all the allegations which were flying around the time works well for Icke’s purposes – it accomplishes his ends without him having to do additional research of his own. Where Icke actually mentions that he’s done something proactive, it’s usually in the context of doing something entirely useless – like sending a long list of questions to the FBI which they couldn’t answer because they related to an ongoing investigation. Icke likes to huff and puff and make a big show of how outrageous it is that various bodies won’t hand over information which he isn’t actually entitled to, and/or which they legally can’t disclose, and/or which he hadn’t actually sought out through accepted channels, as though it were somehow sinister that random pests asking harassing questions get fobbed off by the institutions they pester. Information transparency is an important principle, of course, but that doesn’t mean people should be expected to drop everything, ignore considerations of legal propriety and confidentiality, and answer whatever ream of questions you chose to fax to them at some inconvenient time.
The lizardy bit at the end of the book, where Icke gives a quick rundown of his New Age-derived view of the cosmos and his current iteration of the lizard theory, is a bit of a treat, though an incongruous one. There are few surprises for anyone who read the previous two books, save that Icke here puts more emphasis on the idea that the lizards occupy an interdimensional space and possess humans of the Illuminati human-reptoid hybrid bloodlines, rather than the idea that the lizards are actually physically incarnate in our cosmos. (Except there must have been incarnate Reptoids at one point in our dimension to create the hybrid bloodlines in the first place… hm. I wonder whether Icke here is playing down the idea of some global leaders being actual literal lizards in disguised, rather than being possessed by lizards, on the basis that he thinks that people will find the “possessed by lizards” thing more credible than the “actually are lizards” thing? If so, then that’s more evidence that his sense of where the mainstream lies is getting decidedly fuzzy.)
The thing is, he just dumps all the lizard stuff on the reader and expects them to accept it, which really wrecks the whole arc of the book. The thesis of Alice In Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster is not unlike the Underpants Gnome business plan:
- 9/11 was an inside job.
- Therefore, alien lizards rule the world.
It’s shit like this which made Alex Jones, at around this time, refer to Icke and his theories as the “turd in the punchbowl” of the conspiracy theory scene. In a rare instance of Jones actually kind of having a point (in another “stopped clock’s right twice a day” moment), Jones was arguing that because Icke latches onto and promotes such utterly bizarre nonsense, he ends up making all the more grounded theories he espouses sound much less credible by association. Not that the various conspiracy theories collected in this butter-yellow tome are necessarily all that credible to begin with, but there’s at least a portion of them which would require a bit of thought and poking to discredit, and some information in here where you just have to say “Yeah, that does look a bit dodgy” (Iran-Contra is not a conspiracy theory but a substantiated fact, Cheney’s links with Halliburton really are kind of an issue in the light of subsequent Bush administration policy, etc.).
But combine them with fanciful rumours of controlled demolition and you look like a credulous rube, and combine all that with the lizards and it just gets worse. Perhaps the best thing about Alice In Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster is as a filter: if someone’s recommending it as a source on 9/11, you know that they’re probably kind of credulous and not very good at discerning between credible research and random gossip-collation.
Tales From the Time Loop
It’d be tempting to see this book as more of the same. Sure, Pamela’s a bit more present in it than she has been in the books so far – we actually get a shot of her and David together at the start of the book, he makes occasional references to her ideas, she even contributes a (completely dreadful) poem. But otherwise this is a book with the same basic form factor as the three preceding pieces, with Icke even returning to an old artist buddy for the cover art and some illustrations – namely, Isle of Wight local artist Neil Hague, whose artwork had graced the cover of …And the Truth Shall Set You Free and would become a prominent feature of Icke’s next few books.
With the kickoff of the Iraq War creating a fertile field for any and all conspiracy theories surrounding the Bush Administration, Tales From the Time Loop could have happily gotten away with just giving that the same treatment that Alice In Wonderland gave 9/11. However, Icke chose not to take that route, since he believed that he had made a brand new breakthrough in his understanding of the cosmos which offered him insights into the world deeper than anything he had previously addressed in his books or even personally comprehended.
Spoiler, dear readers: Icke got high on drugs.
Structurally speaking, the book is yet another refinement of the formula that Icke had been following since Robots’ Rebellion, combined with the “nuts and bolts stuff first, then the woo” approach of Alice In Wonderland. We begin with a bit of a biographical rundown and Icke’s view of the chakras; we then take a nuts-and-bolts look at the world with an emphasis on then-current events, though Icke’s spin on a lot of them tends to be quite predictable if you know his theories.
There’s a lot about the invasion of Iraq, which he spins as being the international conspiracy symbolically returning to its origins by re-occupying ancient Babylon and Sumeria. At the same time, he tends to put the primary responsibility for the invasion on the US, UK, and those he believes to be in control of those nations, which I find odd.
I should clarify that, really. I don’t find it odd to blame the US and allies for the invasion of Iraq, because from a conventional perspective they are precisely the people who are responsible for the 2003 invasion; it was their decision to go in, they didn’t have to do it, they did and we all live with the consequences now. What I find odd is the way this sits next to Icke’s concept that all societies and cultures have been manipulated and controlled for centuries by the Illuminati. From this perspective, there is no such thing as a free or independent society on Earth, any war between nations is nothing but a sham, and therefore the leadership of Iraq would have been just as complicit in the invasion as the leadership of the invading powers.
That’s the grim but inevitable consequence of Icke’s logic, but he seems to lose sight of it a lot. Sure, at points he does point out things which he thinks indicates collusion between the US and Iraqi governments in the buildup to the war and during it – but at other points he seems to take the view that the Iraqi government was more or less innocent and the guilt primarily fell on the US.
Moreover, the actual facts of what happened create problems for the “global conspiracy” worldview. In particular, there is the awkward fact that Saddam actually let the UN weapon inspectors into Iraq, and that they were successfully doing their job, prior to the invasion happening. The fact that this had happened increased opposition to the war worldwide, since it cut the legs out from under the primary US justification for the invasion, and it generally dialled up everyone’s suspicions about the US’s motives.
If the whole point was to hoodwink the general public in the West, and the world conspiracy controlled the Iraqi government, why did the inspectors get allowed back in? Why not have the Iraqi government just issue further angry declarations that they would not allow their sovereignty to be violated in this fashion? On the other hand, if the Iraqi government were not under control by the Illuminati, doesn’t that mean the Illuminati aren’t nearly as influential as Icke makes them out to be?
This will become a recurring theme in Icke’s work: he ends up expressing a certain partiality in conflicts in which Western governments are always evil Illuminati quislings, whereas any government which is confronting the West gets an easier ride from Icke, with him either not going into as much detail on how they are also controlled by the Illuminati or not addressing the idea that they’re Illuminati pawns too. For instance, if you click about on his website you’ll likely find a lot of material where he decries Western aggression against Iran – but hang on a second, Iran is a theocratic state and Icke believes that Islam, which this theocracy at least claims to be advancing the cause of, is in itself a concoction of the global conspiracy, inspired by extraterrestrial forces. Wouldn’t a theocracy like Iran be just as controlled by the grand conspiracy as anywhere else?
Of course, you can’t have Icke talking about the Middle East without him going off on one about Israel and sailing even closer to going full Holocaust denier than he has previously. This time around, he presents the Khazar theory and specifically ties it in to Ashkenazi heritage, and argues that there’s an Ashkenazi-vs.-Sephardim thing going on within the Jewish community wherein the Ashkenazi lord it over the Sephardim and consider them inferior. Whether or not that’s true, I’m not sure a dude who’s promoted The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as being real is especially well-placed to harp on about this.
Icke also continues his policy of cherry-picking Jewish sources who vaguely agree with his position in order to use them as a shield against accusations of anti-semitism. In this case his preferred source is Rabbi Mordechi Weberman, a member of the Neturei Karta movement – an anti-Zionist Haredi group that has been infamous for, among other things, palling about with Holocaust deniers. Admittedly, to my knowledge they don’t actually deny the Holocaust – they go along to denial conventions to say “OK, look, the Holocaust actually happened, but it was the fucking Zionists who collaborated with Hitler to make it happen and we’re totally behind anything you want to do to push back against Zionism”, which takes “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to an incredibly extreme extent.
(On top of that, I refuse to believe that they simply didn’t have any awareness of how the antisemites at the conference would spin their presence. “Even these Jewish folk agree that the Holocaust didn’t happen” is a powerful propaganda move. It’s not entirely true, but since when have Holocaust deniers allowed the truth to get in the way of the overall project of rehabilitating the reputation of Naziism?)
Speaking of palling around with Holocaust deniers, Icke here also enthusiastically endorses the work of Henry Makow – who, despite his parents having been Jewish citizens of Poland who’d suffered under the Nazis, has put an awful lot of energy into promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories and is implacably hostile to the entire Jewish community. (Among other things, he’s claimed that the God of Judaism is an “egregore” – a spiritual entity created by and subservient to the collective will of the Jewish community – and that this egregore is behind both antisemitism and Communism as part of the plan by the Jewish leadership to control the world. Charming.)
In particular, Icke lines up alongside Makow in denouncing the imprisonment of Ernst Zündel, who had been imprisoned by the Canadian authorities. Icke, and Makow (in the piece Icke quotes) frame this as Makow being imprisoned by the Canadians for Holocaust denial. The truth is somewhat more complex than this: Makow was being held for deportation by the Canadian authorities to Germany (since he was not a Canadian citizen), and it was the Germans wanted to put him on trial for Holocaust denial; Canada wanted to deport Makow because they’d decided he was a national security risk due to his links to Neo-Nazi organisations.
Either way, there’s an interesting little dance that Icke does when he raises Zündel. He claims that Zündel was imprisoned for questioning the official line on the Holocaust; he then quotes Makow’s take on the situation, in which Makow says that he thinks Zündel’s views are repugnant. Icke does not, himself, ever express his own personal opinion on Zündel’s beliefs. If you wanted to go to bat for someone over a free speech issue, fine, but you’d think that if you didn’t believe in what that person was saying and merely wanted to fight for their right to say it, you would make it clear that you personally don’t agree with what this person has been saying.
Once we leave the “five sense” material – i.e., the section of the book which deals with actual substantive, testable claims, never Icke’s strong suit – we get a section on the “lower fourth dimension Reptoids” stuff, which is more or less a restatement of the information already given in The Biggest Secret and Children of the Matrix. It’s in the third section where things get really excited, as Icke tells us about his experiences on a New Age retreat during which he enjoyed multiple trips under the influence of ayahuasca.
Now, “David Icke on drugs” is a phrase which probably makes a lot of people perk up. Some may rub their hands in anticipation, thinking that surely Icke would say all sorts of especially wacky nonsense as a result of his experience, taking his bizarre theories to the next level of bizarre insight. Others may find themselves worried about the effect on his brain chemistry, considering the neurological symptoms that may underpin his experiences around the Truth Vibrations era and subsequent years.
Icke insists that his ayahuasca experience is his first experiment with psychedelics; apparently he tried magic mushrooms a while afterwards, but otherwise doesn’t use drugs regularly. Whether you believe him or think he’s trying to cover himself legally, the fact is that his trip report – which is what the third section of this book essentially is – turns out to be little more than a massive disappointment. See, as it turns out psychedelics are nowhere near as dangerous as the scare stories would have you believe; nor are they as illuminating as Leary and McKenna and others would want you to think. Ultimately, it turns out that if you’re a bit of a boring person at heart – and Icke is basically a rather boring dude who happens to believe some weird things – then your drug trips will be just as boring as your sober life.
In particular, Icke gets more or less nothing out of his ayahuasca experience – or his subsequent experiments with magic mushrooms – which wasn’t already basically a part of his personal belief system already. He’d already been leaning on Matrix references to describe the material world as it exists under the control of the Illuminati; dialling it up a bit, he now argues that the material world exists in a time loop and that the Matrix is a self-perpetuating system, a bit of the Infinite Oneness which persuaded itself that it was separate and whose very structure is intended to keep people trapped materially and spiritually in a false sense of individuality, to an extent that even when you die you go to a false afterlife which is intended to keep your soul trapped in the time loop rather than allowing it to go free.
There’s some more stuff here about all that we see and seem is but a dream within a dream and how an invisible voice yelled at Icke that everything is illusion and how he spent the first few minutes of his ayahuasca trips screaming out all his frustration at being laughed at over the whole Turquoise Period stuff, but all of this is really nothing new to Icke’s cosmology – it’s just adding a few more wrinkles and details whilst keeping the essential structure the same. (The fact that Icke claims to still be carrying lots of rage over the “national laughing stock” thing convinces me that his repeated pleas for tolerance and acceptance of one another’s views over the years have mostly about him wanting to see a society where people won’t laugh at him for saying silly shit.)
It says a lot about Icke that he can take this drug which is supposed to completely challenge and reconfigure how people think about themselves and the universe and their place in it, and which both indigenous practitioners and culturally appropriative New Agers use to try and get profound insights into things, and he just comes away with all of his long-held beliefs about the universe largely confirmed. Far from considering this evidence that Icke might actually be right on some level, I tend to see this only as evidence of how deeply he holds these preconceptions and how narrowly focused his imagination has become; even when given the opportunity to conceptualise an entirely different vision of the universe, he passes it up. When the doors of perception were opened, Icke remained safely tucked up in his room, the walls of his cognitive comfort zone entirely too strong for even ayahuasca to assail.
In addition, the view of the universe that Icke outlines here isn’t even particularly original; it just takes him even further into a Gnostic conception of things. Among the various cosmologies the original Gnostics promulgated – remember, there were an awful lot of Gnostic sects who believed an awful lot of different things, many of which were mutually incompatible – was the concept that before there was the world there was the Plemora, the infinite realm of divinity, and that the material world is a sort of bubble into which scraps of divinity have been tricked into incarnating and from which we must seek escape so that we can be reunited with the Plemora.
Aside from some waffle about holograms, Icke doesn’t really take any conclusions from these experiences which he couldn’t have arrived at simply by taking his own existing philosophy and taking it forwards to its logical conclusion. I can’t detect a single opinion of his which actually changed as a result of this experience, save that he now is cool with drugs whereas previously he was suspicious of them.
In particular, he harps on about how We Are All One, which had been a hallmark of his thinking for about a decade at this point. He uses this to argue that reflexology works (because all is a holographic illusion, so one part of our body contains all the information about our body, so an ailment of the brain can be cured by poking the right zone of the foot), advocate that everyone be decent to each other because when you hurt someone else you only hurt yourself, and argue that consensus reality a la Mage: the Ascension is totally a thing.
On this last point, he goes in really hard on the idea that everything is an illusion which we ourselves make up. This almost goes into full solipsism – after all, if all is illusion made up by yourselves, and the only reason we have a consensus reality at all is that the Illuminati (in service to the Reptilians, who are in turn in service to the Matrix itself) convinced us that there was one, the question arises of how the Illuminati are even able to affect us in the first place. After all, if all that I see or experience is a concoction of my mind, surely I’ll only ever see and interact with phantoms of my imagination, and that therefore I will never encounter another mind and no other mind can affect me at all.
Icke just about avoids going all-in on solipsism by including in his cosmology the idea that we are all part of a single whole – so presumably one part of that whole can affect another part of it. Fine. But he does go most of the way towards full solipsism, and in doing so he absolves himself the need to perform any sort of rigorous, credible investigative process or construct any sort of coherent argument ever again. Specifically, he denounces the very idea that “proof” or “evidence” is even important.
I am not kidding or engaging in hyperbole here. Check out this quote:
Some points to make here. First, why can’t we “feel” and “know” our reality instead of insisting that the conditioned and manipulated mind must be the only arbiter of “truth” through the production of evidence that it believes to be “proof”? What is “proof”, anyway? Proof is only that which the conditioned mind accepts to be so.
And how about this one (which comes shortly after the above, after a brief digression about 9/11), for good measure:
Does what I reported in the last chapter “feel” right intuitively even without “scientific” support? Only you know if it feels right to you or not; you don’t need some guy with a fancy title and letters after his name to tell you what to think. What does your heart say? That’s all that matters.
Trusting your gut feeling comes down to trusting your irrational prejudices, of course; it’s how pogroms happen. But you can see the benefit to Icke in persuading his true believers to abandon any sense of what qualifies as credible evidence and just believe any old shit so long as it gives them nice feels. Icke has no credentials, frequently offers no evidence, and presents arguments and theories which often fall apart when you think them through. If all the standard measures of assessing the credibility of a particular source are bunk, then Icke is just as good as any other source. If there is no such thing as proof, there is no such thing as disproof – and Icke can never be wrong.
Infinite Love Is the Only Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion
Taking its title from a phrase which ran through Icke’s ayahuasca trip as reported in Tales From the Time Loop, Infinite Love is a shorter book than any Icke had written since I Am Me, I Am Free. This is largely because this time around Icke opts not to go into an in-depth dissection of the conspiracy (by April 2005, when the book was published, the Iraq War was still the major scandal of the era, and he’d already covered it in Tales From the Time Loop); there’s still some detours into theorising here and there, but by and large those are exactly that, detours, not the core point of the book.
Instead, the book is Icke’s latest attempt to outline his cosmological model of the universe and his philosophical outlook – essentially, an update to I Am Me, I Am Free. (The nude shot of him from the cover of that even pops up in the book at one point.) The basic thesis is expressed in the subtitle of the book: “Exposing the dreamworld we believe to be ‘real’“; essentially, Icke is expanding on and taking further the notions he outlined in the ayahuasca section of Tales From the Time Loop, but unlike that part this time he’s actually adding some new concepts to his conception of the cosmos rather than just restating the sort of stuff he’s been saying since The Truth Vibrations.
Icke takes a lot of his ideas for his writing from his personal experiences, so it’s not surprising to see him doing stuff like attempting Sovereign Citizen tactics to try and argue away a speeding ticket. What is surprising is the long anecdote he offers about going for a colon cleanse alternative therapy whilst on a talking tour in Hawaii in 2004, which apparently reiterated to him the fact that everything is illusion and all that we perceive is a mere hologram. He goes so far as to say that anything beautiful we see in nature shouldn’t be ascribed with too much value, because nature is actually horrible because it’s part of the grand Matrix illusion and what beauty we find in it should be tempered with the knowledge of that illusory nature.
He bangs on about these ideas constantly throughout the book, introducing the concept of DNA as being the control software installed in our not-actually-real bodies by the Matrix – the instructions which, if we follow them, we remain sleeping sheep, and which it is vital for consciousness to resist. As Icke explains it, both conventional religion and everyday society and the rule of law are underpinned by the programs in our DNA in this fashion.
On the subject of religion, Icke gives Judaism, Christianity, and Islam his usual round of heckling and mockery. He seems to go out of his way to particularly deride Jewish cultural traditions, but even if he even-handedly applied his scorn to all three religions it wouldn’t get him off the usual charge of anti-semitism; like I mentioned above, it’s just that his anti-semitism comes with a side order of anti-Christianity and Islamophobia.
Turning his attention to the New Age (and glossing over other non-Abrahamic religious traditions entirely), Icke gives perhaps the most comprehensive denunciation of the New Age scene he has offered yet, despite acknowledging how many ideas he’d taken from the New Age over the years. To Icke, the New Age is like a sort of backup safety net for the Matrix – if you see through the conventional religions, the New Age and most other forms of esoterica or mysticism or new religious movement just provide another trap, usually based around tricking you into reincarnating rather than exiting the Matrix entirely. (Icke doesn’t acknowledge in the slightest the fact that Buddhism encourages you to do exactly what he’s declaring to be the correct course of action once dead.)
This gives Icke a useful “out” when it comes to backing away from some of the rabbitholes he went down early in his career; he claims that channelling and whatnot is a real phenomenon, but also argues that the spirits people talk to when they engage in channelling or mediumship are occupying other levels of the Matrix, and therefore are just as caught up in the illusion as we are and should have their words taken with a pinch of salt. This gives him licence to dispense of whichever segments of his previous works were based on channelled information if the ideas espoused there are now inconvenient for him (such is the case with most of Love Changes Everything), whilst retaining those bits he wants to keep by claiming that this bit of channelled info happened to check out.
In short, Icke believes that his experience of Infinite Oneness as recounted in Tales From the Time Loop reflects the absolute spiritual truth of the universe, and every other view of cosmology is objectively wrong. This is interesting, because a decade earlier Icke had been concluding his books and talks with a general appeal for people to just allow each other to believe what each individual wants to believe without interference with each other, and he makes the occasional live-and-let-live platitude here, but here Icke clearly takes the position that some beliefs are more correct than others.
That, by itself, wouldn’t be contentious – Holocaust denial and climate change denial and a whole swathe of the conspiracy theories Icke espouses are clearly less legitimate beliefs, based as they are on misrepresented, distorted, and outright incorrect supporting facts and arguments. The thing here, though, is that here Icke is making pronouncements on areas of religion and spirituality and broadly declaring that he’s got it right and every theologian, mystic, or thinker who has come to different conclusions from him has got it wrong, on the grounds mostly of his personal experience and his autodidactic, cherry-picked reading. His conclusions are entirely too strong and absolutist either for the evidence he brings to bear (and as he noted in his previous book he doesn’t have much time for the concept of “evidence”) or for the arguments he presents (which are mostly blunt assertions of fact; Thomas Aquinas he ain’t).
Perhaps the most surprising new feature of Icke’s cosmology his his declaration that some people out there aren’t really people, so much as they are Agent Smith-esque software programs produced by the Matrix – these people have no higher soul or nature independent of the illusion. In part this is Icke inventing the “NPC meme” over a decade before 4Chan went into it, writing off a chunk of the population as philosophical zombies with no inner experience who exist solely to pad out society and perpetuate it, and in part this is him building on the idea that the Reptoids possess and puppeteer people in high society rather than actually being those people; here, he says that the Illuminati actually consist of advanced versions of these software people, the “Red Dress” types (named after the illusory woman in the red dress Morpheus points out to Neo in the first Matrix movie) which exist to provide handy vehicles for the Reptoids to steer and which they can then scrap for a new model once their current one wears out.
As far as those people who do possess a soul (or, as Icke puts it, a spark of Infinite Oneness), these come in two types – those who have the potential to awaken to Infinite Consciousness but haven’t yet, and those who have. This division of the human race into three spiritual castes is a particularly hardline and simplistic version of a particular type of Valentinian Gnosticism, which divides humanity into the Hylic (or Somatic), Psychic, and Pneumatic classes of people.
In this system of Gnosticism, the Hylics are focused entirely on matter, and it is possible to read some of the relevant Gnostic texts as suggesting that the Hylics have no spark of the plemora – the Infinite Oneness of the true God – within them. (A kinder reading may be that the Hylics could graduate to one of the higher types if they could be persuaded to not set so much stock in material things, but this is far from unambiguously the case.) The Psychics are more intellectually focused, but haven’t got the gift of Gnosis; they absolutely do have a spark of the divine inside them, but they are not saved. The Pneumatics have experienced gnosis and are aware of their status not as individuals but as part of Infinite Oneness, and are thus saved.
Once you realise that Icke’s Infinite Oneness/Infinite Consciousness is the Gnostic plemora and True God, his division of humanity here matches the Valentinian version more or less exactly, if in a simplistic fashion. Not to mention a tremendously dangerous fashion – now he’s not only dehumanising the elite, but he’s dehumanising a great swathe of the population at all tiers of society, and he’s doing so in a way which suggests that not only are they not properly human, but they aren’t real and so have no form of personhood whatsoever. (There is, perhaps, good reasons that a lot of Gnostic theology was rejected by the mainstream Church. Many Gnostic sects also took onboard a fat dose of antisemitism too.)
Now, we can see here that Icke has taken a significant Gnostic doctrine and made it a central plank of his cosmology, which already is largely Gnostic in its major features. On the one hand, that’s only to be expected – if you’re already basically a Gnostic, adding more Gnosticism to your modern-day rebranded Gnosticism makes sense. What’s bizarre about this is that Icke doesn’t mention the Gnostics at all in connection with all this – indeed, so far as I can tell he doesn’t mention them in this book at all. It’s pretty clear that he knew about them – he makes passing references to them in previous books of his, but more sparsely than you’d think given how closely their ideas paralleled his even prior to this book coming out. Indeed, on checking back, I find that Icke’s references to the Gnostics have tended to reflect minor aspects of particular Gnostic sect’s beliefs (like the place the serpent played in some of them), rather than the core Gnostic idea of the material world being an illusion.
This is an absolutely bizarre thing to leave out, especially when Icke is now directly lifting from Gnostic doctrine here; the idea that Icke didn’t know that the Gnostics believed more or less exactly what he espouses here is far-fetched to the point of being not worth considering. You just don’t read up on esoterica to the extent that Icke clearly does when he’s cherry-picking ideas to regurgitate in his books without coming across a basic profile of Gnostic beliefs. In fact, looking ahead a little, it seems to me that Icke doesn’t actually go into any sort of in-depth examination of Gnosticism in any of his books – despite the fact that this book is practically crying out for one – until 2013’s The Perception Deception, a full 8 years after this book.
In this book Icke accuses the grand conspiracy of a technique he calls “The Totalitarian Tiptoe”, an introduction of totalitarian elements bit by bit rather than bringing in the whole totalitarian system at once. I wonder if this is an instance of projection – Icke saying to himself “Well, if I were responsible for this plan, here’s how I would go about it”. For it seems to me that what is happening here, and indeed what has been happening across Icke’s books since 1990, is what you could call the Gnostic Tiptoe – a gentle drip-by-drip inclusion of more and more Gnostic ideas in Icke’s writing until you arrive at this book, which offers modernised Gnosticism with the serial numbers filed off.
The question I would have for Icke is this: why the coyness about Gnosticism in 2005? Why isn’t it cited in support of Icke’s ideas here, when it’s clearly the source of some of those concepts? I can only think of two explanations as to why Icke didn’t bring up Gnosticism in this book, and why he hadn’t cited it much more extensively in his previous books, and why he wrote a sequence of books not giving Gnosticism credit for the ideas he took from it until he eventually embraced Gnosticism and adopted its terminology more directly in The Perception Deception. (It’s the book where Icke starts overtly talking about “Archons” in the Gnostic sense.)
- Icke didn’t think his audience was “ready” for the information in question, and needed to be primed to accept it. This flies in the face of Icke’s espoused principles and has him acting in a manner highly reminiscent of the New Age gurus he slams so harshly in this book.
- Icke wanted to create the impression that he’d come up with all of these ideas and insights by himself, and then discovered the Gnostic connection later, with the idea being that his audience would see the Gnostic material as a) confirming Icke’s theories by providing independent corroboration (even though it’s not independent at all because Gnosticism is where Icke lifted his ideas from) and b) confirming Icke as being a spiritually extra-special individual, with his books providing his readers with the knowledge necessary to attain gnosis.
Note, after all, that in this book Icke more or less dispenses with the idea of Jesus, which is where he breaks with most prior Gnostics. Gnostics buying into this tripartite division of humanity tended to, at the very least, ascribe to Christ the status of a Pneumatic – one who has attained gnosis and is therefore able to guide others to gnosis through their teaching. Icke here denies Christ more or less completely, whilst claiming for himself the status of a Pneumatic. With all spiritual teachers of the past lambasted as pawns of the Illuminati, what teacher is left to guide believers to Infinite Oneness other than Icke?
Well, maybe there’s also Neil Hague. Hague’s illustrations had graced some of Icke’s books before, but here Icke goes really over the top with it, stuffing the book which as much material as Hague is willing to offer (and sometimes presenting the reader with multiple variations on the same Hague illustration), and going so far as to include a section of full-colour versions of Hague’s drawings in the middle of the book to pad things out. Hague’s art is endearingly trippy in some respects, but it’s also astonishingly over-busy, with Hague trying to stuff in far too many details and doing so very heavy-handed a lot of the time.
Doubtless this is part of an effort to be as true to Icke’s teaching as possible when illustrating his concepts, but it does have the effect of making the illustrations a confusing riot of imagery. Ironically, it reminds me a lot of the sort of illustrations that the Freemasons produce to allegorically illustrate their teachings, like on their famous tracing boards – but despite being puppets of the Reptoids from the lower fourth dimension, the Freemasons manage to do this stuff with more artistry and clarity than Hague does.
The Royal Scam
Infinite Love Is the Only Truth would be the last book that Royal Adams would distribute on behalf of Icke, since after that it a major dispute broke out between the two of them. This ultimately resulted in a major legal dispute between the two, and thanks to this happening through the courts the story ended up in the public arena to a certain extent.
One of the court rulings available on the Internet here seems to offer a fairly exhaustive accounting of the facts: following the completion of Infinite Love Is the Only Truth, Adams would get onto Icke and say that the business in US was in bad shape and that unless Icke was able to produce another book in 2005, his affairs would be ruined. Between this and an increasing tendency on the part of Adams to ascribe his business decisions to the advice of angels, Icke began to have reason to worry, and Linda – ever the business-minded one – started poking about in the accounts, and discovered a deeply disturbing situation – disturbing enough to convince the US courts to issue a preliminary injunction ahead of the main trial, as you can see from the court ruling.
It’s rather interesting, though, that the legal system should have come through for David Icke in this case. After all, if the conventional law courts are all part of the grand conspiratorial system to keep us all down, and Icke was bringing the precious gift of gnosis to the masses to liberate them from the Matrix… why rule in Icke’s favour? Why not have the court rule in Adams’ favour, financially ruining Icke and permanently disrupting the distribution of his work? The Illuminati really took their eye off the ball there. For that matter, it’s interesting how Icke will talk a tough talk about using Sovereign Citizen tactics to dispute a speeding ticket in Infinite Love, but then use the regular courts in the general fashion they were actually intended to function when his business is at stake. It’s almost like he doesn’t quite fully believe in the Sovereign Citizen stuff he spouts.
By 2008, Icke had received rulings in his favour from the US courts, and Royal Adams would end up with a jail sentence for tax evasion, Adams having lied about his finances both to Icke (in reporting Bridge of Love US’s affairs) and to the IRS. The court ruling I linked earlier, whilst dry, is worth reading in full for some other insights it offers; for instance, I was very interested to note that Icke’s UK publishing house – Bridge of Love UK, as it was called then – at the time was set up to give Icke no income whatsoever, the profits from the company going to Linda and Icke’s children with her, and that Icke’s main source of income was his 75% cut of Bridge of Love US’s net profits.
The “net profits” thing was what enabled Adams’ scam in the first place, and I think Icke would have been better advised to reach a deal based on royalties paid to him on a per book sold basis, rather than on the basis of Bridge of Love US’s net profits – because with Adams’ hand at the wheel, it was entirely possible for him to fiddle the books and inflate expenses so that it looked like that Bridge of Love US had made no net profit whatsoever – leaving Adams owing Icke nothing after skimming plenty of money for himself. Adams’ motivations for this, and for other dubious activities like applying for the IP in Icke’s work under his own name, seem to be fuzzy; the court record notes that Adams had been taking the advice of, erm, angels, and Icke claims that Adams had been paying substantial amounts of money to a New Age spiritual advisor.
The breach of trust between Icke and Adams would have knock-on effects on Icke’s relationship with Pamela. After all, it was apparently Pamela who’d introduced Adams to Icke. It seems from all accounts that Icke began to distance himself and show clear signs of distrust in Pamela at around the time the Royal Adams thing blew up, and whilst some of his abusive behaviour towards her would be inexcusable (there’s some really nasty hate mail copy-pasted to Pamela’s page discussing these matters), at the same time the paranoid logic behind it is all too explicable: Pamela brought Adams into Icke’s sphere, Adams turned out to be a crook, therefore Icke suspected that Pamela was in cahoots with Adams.
Though they would not formally separate until 2008, it’s evident from later testimony that Pamela and Icke’s relationship was on the rocks earlier than that. The most clear timeline I can find, unfortunately, is Pamela’s own interview with the Daily Mail, which I will link to an archive of instead of linking directly, in which Pamela claims that she first became aware of tensions when she, Icke, and Linda were discussing a restructuring of the family business in 2006.
What the interview doesn’t go into, of course, is that this restructuring had become necessary as a result of Royal Adams’ actions and the sudden, urgent need to pivot away from the previous arrangement, in which Bridge of Love USA was Icke’s sole source of income and the main UK Bridge of Love business provided income for Linda and her children by Icke. In other words, the moment when Richards says that Icke stopped trusting her happens to coincide with the moment when Icke and Linda had come to the conclusion that there was no salvaging the business relationship with Adams, when they needed to adjust how their businesses were arranged so as to maintain their income, and when both David and Linda would have become acutely aware that if Pamela were out of the picture, David would be able to get by on a substantially more modest cut, freeing up more funds to get the business back on its feet.
Not only does the timeline fit the notion that Icke stopped trusting Richards after Adams undeniably did betray him, but Icke also connects the two in his comments on these issues; see, for instance, this passive-aggressive news item he posted to his website in 2010, once his divorce settlement had come through. The two unnamed individuals here are Royal Adams and Pamela Richards, and whilst Icke makes no direct accusations of them being in cahoots with each other or the Illuminati, he certainly makes some strong implications, both by talking about both individuals in the same article and by the language used in the article itself.
Then again, not everything Icke says is to be taken at face value. (If you have read this far and needed to be told this, I’m frankly kind of troubled.) Note how in this essay he speaks of Adams and Richards as “two people who have not contributed a single word of research or text in any book, DVD or talk“. That might be true enough of Adams, but it is demonstrably untrue of Richards; my copy of Tales From the Time Loop is proof of that. Remember that awful poem by Pamela I mentioned that appears at the start of the book, credited to her, next to a picture of her with David? Yeah.
Infinite Love Sure Sounds Hateful
Around this period, Icke would find himself coming under increased scrutiny over antisemitism, with the general suspicion being that the Reptoids in his system were stand-ins for Jewish people. That is clearly an oversimplification, given the number of non-Jewish individuals he alleges are Reptoids or Reptoid collaborators, but at the same time as I’ve argued above that doesn’t mean that Icke isn’t antisemitic, and that in fact focusing too much on the Reptoid stuff can mean you overlook the bits where Icke is much more directly antisemitic.
Repeatedly, Icke defends himself by arguing that a) he’s not making allegations about all Jewish people, just a subset of them, and b) he says bad things about people from other backgrounds too. As I hope I’ve substantiated in this article, however, Icke is so hostile to anyone expressing the traditional practices of their religion that he effectively is slamming all Jewish people, or at least all of those who want to express their religious or cultural heritage in any way because Icke considers religious and cultural tradition to have a net negative value.
Furthermore, even if your intent isn’t to do harm to all Jewish people, if your actions and the ideas you promote tend to put Jewish people at risk then that’s the effect of your actions regardless of intention. It doesn’t matter how often Icke insists that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was actually about an Illuminati plot rather than a Jewish plot – giving oxygen to such a comprehensively debunked document can have no good outcome.
Most of all, if you’re a generally hateful person, and express scorn and contempt for lots of different categories of people, then you don’t get out of the consequences of one flavour of hatred by pointing to the other flavours of hate you spread. Icke is as much an anti-Christian, an Islamophobe, and a detractor of all manner of religious and cultural institutions as he is an antisemite. He is a generally hateful man, as his denigration and mocking of other cultures richly demonstrates, but purports to write from the perspective of Infinite Love and Infinite Consciousness. If this is what passes for a Gnostic teacher in this day and age, count me out.
In the next part of this retrospective I’ll cover how in subsequent books Icke added further wrinkles to his cosmology and amplified his rhetoric against his targeted groups. In addition, I’ll take a deep dive into the next big controversy surrounding Icke – the doomed project called The People’s Voice.