Yesterday I was exceptionally hungover on a massive scale so I decided to look more into the Sad Satan video I mentioned the other day. This meant exploring the king of conspiracy theorists David Icke and about ten hours later my head was fried but I think I got a bit more insight about Icke (a person I’ve always found intriguing) but in terms of all the subjects Icke speaks about, I think I’m no closer to clarity than I was at the start of this hungover session.
I used to like Icke as a TV presenter. He wasn’t as smooth as Des Lynham or as informed as a Brian Moore, but he seemed more honest, more working class and down to earth than the usual BBC presenter being used in the 1980’s, but like most people it came as something as a shock to see him turn up on Terry Wogan’s chatshow to do an interview that to this day is actually hard to watch. Sadly that footage isn’t on YouTube but this later video where Wogan and Icke look back at the interview decades later and it’s a somewhat awkward interview.
Icke was and still is a figure of fun and here’s a confession. In the early 2000’s I attended one of Icke’s talks in London thanks to an ex-girlfriend. It lasted around six hours and I managed about half of that before being probably the most drunk person at Brixton Academy. I also think I was watching someone that’d suffered an enormous mental breakdown but had come out of it with a series of both insane and actually surprisingly insightful thoughts.
In fact many of my problems with Icke are made clear in this splendid Jon Ronson Channel 4 documentary.
As said by Alex Jones (another crazy conspiracy nutter) in the Ronson film, Icke does say some insightful things in regards civil liberties, but the problem I discovered about Icke is that at every single opportunity Icke will attempt in films, documentaries, talks, interviews, etc to sell his books. He’s first and foremost a salesman and he’s doing an old sales trick of luring people in with criticism of the surveillance state, or institutional paedophillia (he was talking about Jimmy Savile in the early 90’s) before leaping in with the 12 foot shape-changing lizards, or the ‘electric universe’ (one of the most insane ‘scientific theories’ you’ll ever hear), or the hollow moon, or any number of insane ideas Icke has to help him make money.
That’s possibly a cynical view but having spent around ten hours listening to Icke he does this all the time. He never goes into fine detail but instead tells people to buy his books and go into details. None of his ‘scientific ideas’ have been put forward for peer review but at the core of Icke is a desire for some sort of truth, but like the most hardcore conspiracy theorist he manages to link everything together so that An Event happens because Group B has decided it, but they’re killing children in order to protect The New World Order and off you go further and further down the rabbit hole.
The problem is that as we’ve seen there is a massive amount of institutional child abuse happening and it has been covered up, but more people may have listened to him had he not explained it was the actions of lizards that would drink the blood of children. That deflects the attention not from the main accusation of the cover up of child abuse but the giant lizards that drink blood. Here’s the problem I had watching Icke all those years ago and yesterday: he’s a fascinating figure and is entertaining listening, but his arguments contain massive holes in that you could drive trucks though, plus he’s potentially damaging to real campaigners trying to bring people to justice as after all, trying to convince people that high ranking paedophiles aren’t power hungry psychopaths but are space alien lizards that suck the energy from children is damaging. Then there’s the fact he does attract bigots. Even back at that talk at Brixton I noticed a couple of people that weren’t New Age types but a bit, well, fascistic and scouring the comments under Icke’s videos is full of racists and bigots. Is that his fault? No, but he’s attracting them
Most of all my problem is that Icke tries too hard to create answers to everything. There’s no nuance when Icke manages to links everything together because in the universe of the conspiracy theorist it all does. It’s all a handy way to explain the world and give people answers but you’ll need to spend £19.99 to find out exactly why and how it all fits together.The world can’t be explained easily. It is a confusing terrible place, and yes there are people working to ensure they remain and gain power or are fighting to carry on abusing people, or cover that abuse but Icke does real campaigners a disservice and that’s the real shame about Icke. He could be a real voice for good but he’s been tainted not only by his own followers but his own hubris.