June 2, 2008
On Saturday the 24th May 2008, through a mixture of curiosity and the immature appeal of the inherent comedy value, I went with a friend to Brixton Academy for a marathon 6 hour lecture on the world and everything by a certain Mr David Icke.
The past decade has been tempestual for Icke. He has metamorphosed from professional goalie to BBC broadcaster to messiah to new age philosopher; he has gone from well liked public figure to national punch line and then, in recent years, seen an astounding turn around in his once rock bottom public image. Ten years ago he was the most ridiculed man in the UK yet today he is commanding sell-out lecture tours at gargantuan venues like the Academy, where his every pronouncement is cheered and applauded and his every one-liner brings a chorus of knowing laughter from his following. It has been a bizarre and chameleonic journey for Icke, and those familiar with Icke’s philosophy and teachings will have picked up the relevance of the adjective. Just as in the early ‘90s Icke was forever associated with his claim to be the son of God, today he is best known for his theory that the world is in fact ruled and our lives under attack from an inter-dimensional race of humanoid reptiles (or Reptoids in the Ickean dictionary). If you weren’t familiar with Icke before reading this blog, take a moment to wipe the coffee you just spilt on your keyboard away, yes I did say Reptoids.
One particular pleasure of the afternoon for me was in just how normal I felt amongst this crowd. While it seems a decent chunk of the audience, like me, were there ‘for the craic’, huge numbers of patrons clearly swallowed it all. They came from every extreme out-post of human belief systems: Outside the gig a man yelled, speakers corner style, at how paedophilia is a construct of the government to turn women against men in a global gender war; leafleteers swarmed around bystanders to tell them all about the space beams that destroyed the twin towers, the plan for a fake alien invasion in 2012 and so on. It was a human pick and mix of the weird and the wonderful. As a card carrying critic of the official narrative of 9/11 I have become so used to people dismissing me for being “out there”, yet floating like a crouton on this pungent human soup I was actually rebuked for being closed-minded more than once when I confessed that I could not swallow the reptoids side of Icke’s beliefs. The thing about Icke is that he says so much that is clearly true – he details how compartmentalisation through a pyramidal structure makes a global agenda possible, he details the problems with 9/11 and 7/7 with clarity and skill and he delivered a section on the erosion of our civil liberties which was so spot-on and passionately delivered that I clapped long and hard in response. He is articulate, lucid, passionate and also pretty funny, but then he throws it all down the drain by proclaiming that at the top of the pyramid we find not power hungry humans, but alien reptile men hungry to drink our life force. He clearly believes it, but why?
A large part of the argument consists of a slide show of artefacts from past cultures and religions spanning the world which show images of dragons, serpents, reptiles and apparent reptile human hybrids. This doesn’t convince me at all. They may exist but to use them as evidence let alone proof of humanoid reptile creatures actually existing is flimsy. For a start the dragon, the serpent, and the reptoid mythical creatures seen on statues and engravings through history do not resemble each other convincingly and are tied together for convenience of the theory. At one point Icke even shows an African artefact that looks nothing like a reptile humanoid, but explains that this is because people in that culture were forbidden from making representations which resembled their reptoid masters (!). While it is true that by cherry-picking reptilian symbolism and imagery from past cultures and religions you can find a collection suitable enough to support this claim, the same process could just as easily feature any other type of creature.
Let’s say birds, for the sake of argument.
In popular depictions of Abrahamic mythology angels are bird-human hybrids; In Greek mythology Aello is a bird-human hybrid employed by the Gods to make peace and carry out punishments for crimes while in the tragic myth of lovers Ceyx and Alcyone, Alcyone in her grief over Alcyone’s death was transformed into a kingfisher; as she tried to drag the lifeless body of Ceyx to shore, he too changed into a bird.; In Egyptian mythology we have bird men and women at every turn – the soul of a person, or their ‘Ba’ was represented as a soul and Theba was a man-headed hawk, for example; In Persian mythology The bird Camros perches in the top of the tree of life; a recurring mythological creature through several religions and cultures is the Griffin – a bird with the body of a lion, as was the Hyppogryth – a bird with the body of a horse; then there’s the Pheonix in Arabic and Egyptian myth, who self combusts and then resurrects on an endless cycle; Note the Thunder Bird of Native American mythology and beware the giant man eating Poukai bird-god from Polynesian mythology, and while you’re at it keep an eye out for the dastardly Sirens, the enormous elephant eating Roc of Arabian lore, Bagucks in Chippewa mythology, Bar Juchne in Talmud, Camulatz in Maya mythology, Chamrosh in Persian mythology, The Cu Bird in Mexican folklore, Feng-huang the Chinese Phoenix and Quetzalcoatl in Aztec mythology .
I could go on and I could have picked almost any animal and done a quick Google search to the same effect. Mythical creatures which are a hybrid of man and beast are rife throughout the litany of cultures which have spanned the globe over the centuries. Take your pick of reptiles, birds, elephants or monkeys and you’ll be able to find enough engravings, stories and statues to equal the reptoid count.
So why does Icke believe so firmly that a reptoid species and not a birdoid species is pulling the strings at the top of the pyramid? A central component of his argument is how many people across the world have independently attested to seeing people “shape shift” into reptilian humanoids. Does this make a case for the visions being genuine? Why not take the most logical answer and sum up the people were hallucinating? A person does not have to have a problem with drug use or schizophrenia in order to experience visual hallucinations – 93% of Dementia with Lewy Bodies patients and 27% of Alzheimer’s Disease patients experience hallucinations  and even people with no cognitive problems whatsoever but visual impairments can suffer complex visual hallucinations, although they will tend to understand they are not real . In fact many mental and visual impairments lead to people hallucinating detailed imagery, and many people may not realise they are even ill. A counter argument might be to ask what the chances of all these people seeing reptile like figures in their hallucinations are, but once you start to look into the phenomena it starts to seem like less remarkable, as hallucinations fall into noticeable trends. In studies on hallucinations, visual hallucinations are most often indistinct or distinct figures, frequently humanoid in nature , grotesque faces, cartoon like faces, and faces with prominent eyes and/or teeth are all found to be common. At one point in his lecture Icke notes that the exact details of the reptoids seen differs greatly (differing sub-species he supposes) but the prominent reptile eyes and sharp teeth are always there. I found one interesting comment of a patient who attested to hallucinating faces which resembled the gargoyles at Oxford  – which Icke himself credits as being based on our reptoid overlords. But regardless of this there is no doubt that the people Icke has met must total a tiny percentage of the people who experience hallucinations each year, making the “reptile man” hallucination less common that mainstream religious hallucinations which are by far the most commonly experienced theme. Icke himself dismisses Christianity (alongside all other mainstream religion) in the first section of his lecture, but by his rationale don’t the many hallucinations of the Mother Mary or Jesus appearing to people which litter the internet and media every month of the year make the truth of that religion a certainty? Of course not… people have religious hallucinations because the idea is in their head to start with, and the more the reptoid myth is circulated and the greater Icke’s popularity becomes, the more people will start seeing reptoids as well.
But the argument that bothers me the most is the notion that some other-worldly force must be behind the global agenda because human beings don’t do that sort of thing. Well I beg to differ. Icke shows us the well-known and horrific images of dead and maimed Iraqi children, and challenges the audience to agree that none of us would ever do such things. Of course none of us would but the problem is that the people who actually did do those things would say the same. They were mostly just pressing buttons in planes miles above and far removed from the carnage on the ground. In their minds they were not invading an occupying a nation but heroically bringing democracy to Iraq and liberating the people from tyranny. Perhaps they realise innocents die but this is categorised under the sanitised term “collateral damage” and after all – they’re just following orders right? This ability of human beings to employ abstractions to remove the responsibility of their actions from their thought process is well documented. A good reference for this is the now infamous ‘Milgram Experiment’. Stanley Milgram was a psychologist who ran a scenario on randomly picked average residents of New Haven. He found that 65% of his subjects would administer electric shocks-up to 450 volts-to a pitifully protesting victim, simply because they were told to do as part of an experiment. The shocks started low and got progressively worse as the shockee (I’m allowed to make up words; it’s my blog) protested and cried out ever more intensely. At one point the subject would stop and refuse, at which point the experimenter would assure them it was not their responsibility if the man was seriously injured – a majority continued . Of course this was just a scenario; unknown to the subject the shockee was an actor and never received a single genuine shock. It does however give an indication of how, in a system far more based around following orders from authority and diminished individual responsibility like the army, truly horrible acts can be carried out by otherwise normal people. Another useful abstraction which aides the ability of usual people to do unusually horrible things is the notion of doing something bad for ‘the greater good’, or choosing the lesser of two evils. For instance – if you knew it would save three thousand people would you kill one person? What about ten people to save three thousand, where do you draw the line? What if you had to torture them horrifically? These are the sorts of questions most of us will luckily never be faced with but soldiers working in Guantanamo Bay, indoctrinated to the lie that their actions are preventing new 9/11s happening every day, may well be mentally excusing their inhuman actions as being necessary for the greater good, or the lesser of two evils.
So what about the men behind the curtain, or the shadow players as Icke terms them? While I agree whole heartedly with Icke that there is a global agenda run through a pyramid structure with a tiny elite at the top; while I agree that this handful of figures must have clarity about the true nature of the murderous effects of their agenda; I do not agree that such malevolence is necessarily an indication of another species. First off the same rules of abstraction and striving for the greater good still apply. From a position perched at the top of society lives are abstracted so far that they simply become numbers, and the chances are that these people genuinely believe the world will be a better place if it is ordered and controlled by them. There is every indication that they consider the masses to be unable to govern their own lives and believe that only they can create world order where ultimately people will be happier. I’m not saying it’s true, I’m saying it may well be that some of these people have convinced themselves it is. But even if they are truly wicked people, I do not accept the idea that wicked people do not exist. If humans are not capable of senseless aggression then how do you explain the millions of frays, assaults, fights, murders, muggings child abuse cases and rapes which happen around the world every year? We all know and have witnessed the school bully, who makes others feel bad so that they can feel big, the person who aims to control the lives of those around them and manipulate and lie simply for social positioning. All of these traits are simply expanded through abstraction and lie behind the dark agenda we witness unfolding in front of us. It is very human and not at all alien to be a rotten bastard; we all know them, we’ve all met them. It is not an argument which has any wings and furthermore it is one which is dangerous.
It seems to me to be a re-mix of the old Abrahamic myth that all good comes from God and all bad comes from Satan; an abandoning of human responsibility for our actions which seeks to convince people that they have no stake in the balance of positive and negative in the world. In Icke’s updated version human beings are perfect and morally unblemished creatures and all ill effects in the world emanate from the evil reptiles and their manipulations of us. This only acts to distract from the real challenge facing the people at this moment in time: To recognise the tension between altruism and selfishness; between forgiveness and revenge; between action and apathy; between love and hate; peace and war; right and wrong. The only chance this world has is if the people refuse to shrug away and externalise the problems of the world and realise that the power is ours, and if we are willing to sacrifice the comforts of blissful ignorance we have been seduced with then we can and we will halt this agenda before it is too late. We will not do this by creating a science fiction scenario in our minds where we are the plucky human heroes fighting an evil reptile empire because the key battle field is within us – between our own negative impulses and the positive impulses which, if harnessed, will unite the world in permanent positive change.
Walking away from the lecture though I had to conclude that Icke comes across as a good man and a nice guy and a very entertaining public speaker who is doing what he thinks is right and telling what he thinks is the truth. There are as many truths as there are people and he is willing to speak his with a display of bravery few can claim to be able to muster. While it will be clear to the reader that there is much that Icke and I disagree on, I am not one of these people who cannot tolerate differences of opinions and feel the world would get on much smoother if people accepted a multitude of views instead of fighting for the dominance of their own. I don’t believe David Icke is any madder than anyone else on this planet. If you took two people, one of whom says that there is a place which is on fire called hell where you go after you die if you’ve been bad and a place in the sky called heaven where you go if you’re good – and the world works essentially as the mainstream media presents it to us, and then you took David Icke who believes there are energy drinking reptoids who live between dimensions – and the world is run by a tiny elite for their own gain, our civil liberties are being destroyed, 9/11 was a false flag operation and the main stream media is there to feed us propaganda and dumb us down – it would seem to be that in the sanity stakes – David Icke wins 1- 0.
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