Richard Finnegan | 21.02.2002 14:21
Introduction and Thesis Statement
Part 1: The Curious Case of David Icke
By Richard Finnegan
It is customary when writing academic papers to begin with a thesis statement. Every now and then you may encounter research papers that do not begin with a thesis statement, but such instances are rare and usually indicate that you are either reading old literature or something written by somebody more interested in entertaining the reader than in critically informing them. There is a very good reason why this custom has been adopted: it was adopted because scholars do not like guessing about what they are going to be reading. In order to analyze a paper critically, the reader must know up front what he or she is going to be reading and just what ideas or conclusions the author is trying to "sell." This, of course, is more than a mere custom, it has its genesis in the ideas of fairness and honesty in academic debate. There are other such rules or codes of conduct that are expected to be followed as well, such as, an insistence that all quotes and references be sourced and presented in context; quoting out of context is regarded as dishonest and thus frowned upon. In university, an egregious tendency towards quoting out of context can bring your studies to an abrupt and untimely end. Almost everyone who has had any significant degree of post secondary education has been instructed in these procedures (that would include lawyers and most politicians), and is aware of why they are considered important. In this paper I will, of course, provide my introductory thesis statement up front, but I wish to make a very slight and brief deviation from custom, in the sense that I also want and need to make it clear what I will not be writing about in this paper.
This paper is not designed to validate the ideas and theories of David Icke; nor is it designed to validate the ideas of other conspiracy theorists who have been subjected to the same treatment as Icke. That I will address some of his theories in this paper is clear, but only those ideas that have been the subject of such bitter debate, and which have also been used to justify the suppression of Icke in Canada (particularly) and elsewhere. For those in the conspiracy community or others who might be hoping to find such validation in this paper, you now know that what you seek will not be found here and can move on if the actual subject matter is not of interest to you. However, it is my belief that the subject matter of this paper should be of interest to everyone, and, as you will see, there is a very good reason for this.
The primary purpose of this paper is to explore the free speech implications of the censorship campaign that has been waged against David Icke in Canada by Richard Warman and other members of the Canadian and Ontario Green parties, who were, at least initially, assisted in their efforts by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and B'nai Brith. While the two latter organizations are well known for their opposition to free speech under the tiresome "you cannot yell fire in a crowded theatre" argument (which I will address later),1 I was quite surprised to learn that the Green Party has essentially led this campaign because I have voted for them in the past and would have never done so had I known their dedication to free speech was so utterly abysmal. Suffice it to say that I will not be voting for them in the future until they adequately address the very serious issues that will be raised in this paper.
This paper will examine the nature and extent of the campaign against David Icke, the justifications that have been used to support it, and the various deceptive and dangerous tactics that have been used to enforce it. The methods used against Icke may be even more frightening and disturbing than the actual censorship. During the course of the campaign, Icke's oppressors have resorted to disseminating false information, intimidation (of bookstores, venues, and other third parties), and some of the most egregious instances of quoting out of context I have ever had the displeasure of viewing. The primary tool of demonization has, oddly, not been directly related to anything Icke has actually written or said, but by various specious "guilt by association" and "guilt by citation" arguments, along with other stranger and even more deluded theories. That the parrots in the press have not spotted these techniques, when they are supposed to serve as bulwarks against censorship, is also disturbing. It would appear that the Press has had no interest in verifying the various serious charges that they have instead recklessly echoed; you would think that before calling somebody an anti-Semitic "neo-Nazi" that you might want to take a moment to ascertain if the charge is true, particularly considering the very serious and crippling effect such a label can have. In order to illustrate the nature of the techniques used against David Icke it will be necessary to provide some background on who he is and what he purports to believe. I will also argue that the campaign against Icke is just the most visible (if, to this point, distorted) part of a larger campaign designed to demonize conspiracy theorists in general.
I will conclude this essay by addressing the basic free speech implications and discuss why everyone should be concerned about protecting Icke's right to speak and write freely without threat of censorship or intimidation, regardless of what you think of his ideas. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression form the foundation upon which free and open societies are built; without this foundation freedom itself is threatened, and thus it must be tenaciously defended against all challengers. As you read this essay, it is important to understand that this essay is not really about David Icke; this essay is not about Richard Warman, the Green Party, or the other groups and individuals that are described here. This essay is about everyone; it is about you and me, and all those who seek to suppress opinions or ideas that they do not like. David Icke could be anyone, and in many ways he is everyone in this debate. Today it is fashionable to censor and suppress David Icke, but if we fail to act and express our opposition to this campaign, tomorrow it could be anybody who expresses an idea or opinion that is not endorsed or supported by the majority.
The Curious Case of David Icke
Undoubtedly, a significant number of the people reading this essay will have no idea who David Icke is or what he claims to believe.2 Most of Icke's ideas are extraneous in terms of the purpose of this essay and as such will not be discussed here. Those interested in a more thorough understanding of Icke's beliefs should acquire, supposing the censors allow you, a copy of one of his books.3 Some of Icke's more contentious beliefs will be discussed at length later, but immediately all that will be necessary is a brief overview of his beliefs and how he came into the public spotlight. It should be noted up front that nutshell descriptions of Icke's beliefs are inherently unfair, and while it is necessary for me to attempt to describe some his beliefs here, the reader should be aware of the problematic nature of this endeavor. To date, there have been surprisingly large numbers of people willing to engage in sweeping generalizations and demonizations of Icke without even the most general knowledge of who he is or what he writes about; such behavior should be regarded as utterly reprehensible. If people really insist on judging Icke (and clearly many people do), then let us at least make sure we are aware of who he is and what he believes, otherwise judging him fairly becomes an impossible task. That is the purpose of the first part of this essay.
To suggest that David Icke's theories are unusual would be an understatement. Icke is the author of several books that (in a nutshell) essentially maintain that an elite cabal of shape-shifting, child molesting, human sacrificing, Satan worshipping, lizard-aliens are currently engaged in a conspiracy to centralize power and enslave the human race. It would be easy to dismiss such assertions prima facie as being the products of a deranged mind, but Icke is actually quite lucid and a brilliant public speaker-- dismissing him as a madman simply will not suffice. While Icke does have specific reasons for believing what he does, it is quite clear that he is prone to flights of speculative fancy; this propensity has taken him into areas that more "respectable" researchers would never dream of going -- a good example of this is his now infamous "lizard theory."
In his 1999 book The Biggest Secret, Icke introduced his lizard theory with some reluctance: "I wish I didn't have to introduce the following information," wrote Icke, "because it complicates the story and opens me up to mass ridicule."4 It certainly did. The fact that he knew he would be ridiculed and proceeded with his lizard theory anyway should tell the reader something very important about Icke; namely, that he simply does not possess the same inhibitions that most people do; if the reader has any doubts as to the legitimacy of Icke's uninhibited status, a quick look at the cover of his 1996 book I am me, I am free should settle the issue quite quickly.5 Understanding the significance of Icke's relative lack of inhibitions is crucial to understanding the man and the theories he advances.
Icke's lizard theory is based on secondhand allegations that various elite families possess an alien-reptilian bloodline that allows them to transform between human and reptilian shapes. The Bush family are cited as being shape-shifters, as are the Rothschilds, the Windsors, the Rockefellers, Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton (not Bill), and Henry Kissinger, just to mention a few. Icke's lizard theory, like most of his theories, was inspired largely by previously published material written by people such as Alex Christopher and alleged CIA mind control victim Cathy O'Brien (later he would also incorporate the tales of Zulu shaman Credo Mutwa).6 O'Brien claimed that George Bush Sr. had told her that he was an alien and then transformed into a lizard in front of her; strangely, O'Brien herself believed that this was a visual illusion achieved by some sort of hologram machine, but Icke uses other such testimonies to suggest that it was not an illusion, but an actual physical transformation. Despite the debatable nature of his sources, the stories of O'Brien, Christopher, and others are crucial to Icke's lizard theory, although he also looks extensively at various historical, archaeological, and mythological evidence that seems to support his theory as well. Interestingly, Icke also points to some very solid scientific evidence that suggests that a part of the human brain is reptilian in nature;7 just how valuable or significant this and the other evidence he presents is, is ultimately up to the individual to decide. When absolute proof or disproof is not forthcoming, the individual must decide for themselves whether or not to make what William James called a "leap of faith." Personally, I do not think that believing in Icke's lizard theory is necessarily anymore "ridiculous" than, for instance, believing that Moses turned a staff into a snake and parted the Red Sea or that Jesus walked on water.
Whether we are talking about shape-shifting lizards or about prophets parting the Red Sea, I choose not to make a leap of faith and instead choose to disbelieve, but I grant the right of individuals to make such decisions for themselves. For all I know Icke's lizard theory could be correct, and I would encourage the reader to review the evidence he presents and decide for themselves. The ability to make such individual choices and decisions is an important part of what living in a free and diverse society is supposed to be about. While I reserve the right to reject stories of super-human prophets or shape-shifting lizards, I have enough respect for diversity that I am not going to show up outside the local church or synagogue and taunt people for choosing to believe otherwise -- the same applies to showing up outside a David Icke lecture and harassing people who choose to believe in his theories (unfortunately, Icke's detractors engage in this type of behavior on a regular basis; one wonders if they would support mobs of people showing up outside a church or synagogue and harassing the people that go inside); in both cases such behavior constitutes a kind of bigotry and intolerance for diversity that I find far more threatening than the bizarre arguments of people such as Richard Warman who suggest that Icke's ideas constitute a menacing threat to society.
As an interesting footnote to this discussion, I should say that while I do not believe in Icke's lizard theory, I must admit that I did suffer one brief moment of doubt: in the 30 December 2001 Edmonton Journal, there is a story that describes Tony Blair's recent trip to Mexico, in which he and his wife were observed worshipping Mayan lizard statues next to a pyramid.8 After reading this story, I was momentarily possessed by the curious notion that Icke's theory might not be so wild after all. As I pondered this oddity further, I recalled the words of Shakespeare's Hamlet imploring Horatio to remember that "there are more things in heaven and earth ... than are dreamt of in your philosophy"? Alas, the spell was fleeting, and the sound of George W. Bush's voice on the television promising to conquer the evil powers of darkness snapped me back to the even more surreal reality of daily life. But the Blair story serves as a good example of the type of evidence used by Icke and perhaps helps to explain why some people believe in his lizard theory. I will not begrudge them or David this right, and I am not even prepared to say that they are wrong -- only that I do not believe it myself, despite Blair's lizard-worshipping ways; unfortunately, not everyone is so liberally inclined.
While most people are inclined towards ignoring Icke's lizard theory as a kind of unsubstantiated urban legend (indeed some of Icke's own followers ignore his lizard theory and focus on other aspects of his writing), others (such as Richard Warman) have used it as evidence that Icke hates Jews. At first glance this suggestion may seem even stranger than Icke's lizard theory, and in many ways it is, but the accusation makes a little more sense when you understand the beliefs of the Christian Identity movement (although, even then the charge falls flat on its face when subjected to academic scrutiny). I will address the specific accusations of "racism" and "anti-Semitism" in some detail later; for now it would be good to turn our attention to some of the more believable aspects of Icke's writings, which probably serve as the primary attraction for most of his followers (I base this on my discussions with numerous Icke fans).
It would probably be a lot easier to understand the attraction of Icke's ideas if you forgot about his lizard theory completely (as difficult as that might be), because much of what he writes about is based on very earthly and (at points) more believable ideas. In fact, Icke's lizard theory occupies only a small portion of the body of his work. Most of his work is dedicated to studying power structures and the machinations of various secretive organizations such as the Freemasons, the Club of Rome, the Bilderberger Group, the Trilateral Commission, and other powerful individuals and associations. Richard Warman, former spokesman for the Ontario Green Party, once said that Icke has "never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like";9 this is one of the few useful comments Warman has uttered relating to David Icke, because it is not far off the mark -- in fact, Icke's books serve as a kind of great amalgamation of almost all of the major conspiracy theories that have been written about over the past one hundred years.
One of the more interesting and useful aspects of Icke's books is his use of what is essentially a variation of the Hegelian principle of "thesis vs. antithesis = synthesis," which Icke refers to as "problem-reaction-solution."10 Icke's regular references to the process of problem-reaction-solution are designed to show how politicians and other powerful individuals frequently manufacture problems in order to generate reactions from the public, which they can then manipulate for their own purposes. For example, let us say that various politicians and U.S. based health care organizations have decided that they want to destroy public health care in Canada and establish an American-styled privatized system. Using Icke's Hegelian formula, they would first create a problem by allowing public health care to erode to such a terrible state that the public would react and reflexively demand a solution to the problem -- at which point politicians would come forward with the prefabricated "solution" of American-styled health care; a big business agenda would thusly be transformed by deception into an act of "responsive government." Icke maintains, and I believe he is quite correct, that this formula is used by the rich and powerful on a regular basis. In fact, policy analysts discuss such strategies in their elite journals and private discussions, although seldom outside the confines of university campuses or backroom meetings. For instance, a variation of this strategy was discussed by Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones in their paper "Agenda Dynamics and Policy Subsystems," which appeared in the November 1991 edition of the Journal of Politics. In that essay Baumgartner and Jones discussed the necessity of changing public perceptions in order to implement desired policy changes, which is a form of deliberate manipulation that has very little to with liberty and democracy. Understanding that such strategies are well known and used in elite circles would help the average citizen to better understand and interpret the world around them and how they are being manipulated by the people in power.
David Icke also envisions the world as a pyramid of power in which relatively few people (members of secret societies and other occult organizations) control the world from the top for their own twisted purposes, while manipulating unwitting accomplices lower down in the pyramid (various government agents, police, etc.). Icke believes that those at the top of the pyramid have engineered wars for profit and have engaged in heinous depopulation strategies. Because Icke views the world as a pyramid, his solution to the problem is just for the people at the bottom of the pyramid to simply step out of line and stop buying into the program of manipulation. If enough people do this the pyramid will collapse because it is those at the bottom that support the ones at the top. Icke does not advocate the use of violence in this process; in fact, quite the opposite is true. Icke advocates loving your enemies even while you are exposing them as corrupt manipulators.11
Whatever your opinion of Icke's beliefs, I do not think there can be any question that Icke is one of the most charismatic and sharpest (in terms of oratory and debating skills) speakers in the conspiracy movement today. That there are individuals whose ideas are somewhat easier to swallow and better documented is clear, but Icke possesses a charisma that most conspiracy theorists do not. Icke's charisma and oratory abilities also help explain why the British Green Party once regarded him as their brightest and most hopeful light.12 While researching this essay I was forced to go back and dig up old newspaper and magazine articles relating to Icke's rise and fall from the British Greens, and the information I gleaned from that research is very helpful when attempting to understand him. One of the big questions I have had about Icke is whether or not he believes what he writes about, or whether it is all simply part of a moneymaking scam. When I presented this idea to David he was quick to point out that he could have made far more money by steering clear of his lizard theory completely and sticking to more believable ideas, and he makes a valid point. Ultimately, my research into his rise and fall from the Greens did more to answer this question than anything else. Understanding the circumstances surrounding his departure from the British Green Party has inclined me towards believing that Icke is indeed sincere. I find it hard to believe that any man would have subjected himself and his family to the incredible ordeal that David was subjected to in the UK without possessing a firm belief in what he was doing. The incredible ridicule and bigotry Icke was subjected to in the United Kingdom after his "conversion" to the New Age movement and exodus from the Green Party is, quite frankly, disturbing. The UK claims to be tolerant of diversity, but the case of David Icke, I believe, destroys that notion completely.
David Icke first came into the limelight in the UK as a professional soccer13 player. After a stint with Coventry City and Hereford United in the English league, rheumatoid arthritis forced him into an early retirement.14 He then pursued a career as a sports writer and later as a sports presenter with BBC television. After moving to the Isle of Wight in 1982, Icke found himself growing increasingly concerned about environmental issues; this led him to begin campaigning for the British Green Party and he eventually became their national spokesman. His new high profile position with the Green Party was perceived as a conflict of interest by BBC executives, and this led to his demotion15 and later exodus from the BBC. As spokesman of the British Green Party, Icke occupied a front line position during the party's most successful election bid (1989), when the Greens gained almost 2½ million votes nationally.16 Icke's wit and charisma led many to regard him as the party's best and most hopeful representative;17 they would not hold that view very long, because Icke was about to make a significant departure from the mainstream, and enter into the most tumultuous period of his life.
In a book that Icke wrote in 1989, entitled It Doesn't Have to Be Like This: Green Politics Explained, Icke uttered some words that probably have more meaning today than they did when he first wrote them: "Well what a turn-up," wrote Icke, describing his ascent into the political limelight. "From professional footballer to television presenter to green politician." "Whatever next?"18 Whatever indeed. I doubt even Icke could have fathomed where he would be a dozen years later. In 1989, Icke seemed to think that he had found his calling in life as the high profile spokesman of the Green Party, but it was not to be. Something else began calling David instead; voices and spirits of the dead - a recipe for political disaster, not just for himself, but, to a certain extent, for the Green Party as a whole.
There are hints throughout Icke's book It Doesn't Have to Be Like This that suggest the direction that he was heading. In a chapter entitled "Summon the Spirit,"19 Icke delivers a message not very far removed from some of the spiritual overtones that now adorn his work. Icke had half-jokingly warned his readers in the foreword of that book that the "man who has written this book is completely out of his mind … quite bonkers."20 In 1989 this statement was a joke, but by 1991 a large portion of the British population would interpret it quite literally. The impetus for this shift can be found in David's appearance on the Terry Wogan Show on BBC1 in 1991,21 but Icke's description of the events that led up to that moment are worth taking a look at first, in order to give that momentous event some needed perspective.
I cannot, of course, vouch for the authenticity of Icke's description of the events that led to his spiritual awakening, but I have no reason to doubt his description - no reason, that is, beyond the ingrained prejudices against believing in the fantastic that most people possess. Although I am history major, I began my university studies with an eye on philosophy, and as such I am undoubtedly more open minded than most of Icke's detractors, and will not automatically discount his tales of the fantastic (anyone who has studied any significant amount of philosophy will understand why I take this position -- what is real is not always as simplistic as one might suppose, and when we begin questioning what we believe and why, it does not take long before cracks in the fabric of reality begin to appear). My preferred method of dealing with such tales is simply to put them aside until they can be either verified or refuted. The story of Icke's conversion to the New Age movement is very similar to the stories told by other New Age gurus, with the only significant difference being Icke's high profile position in British society. Icke claims that in 1990 he began to feel a presence around him, as if "there was always someone in the room when there was not." "It got to the point where I sat on the side of the bed in a hotel room in London in early 1990 and said to whoever or whatever: 'If you are there will you please contact me because you are driving me up the wall'."22 He claims that the voices in his head then led him to a bookstore containing various New Age books, many of which featured stories very similar to the one that he would later recount. He was attracted to a book written by a New Age guru and healer who would later tell him that a spirit was instructing her to give him a message. Much of that message (including a prediction of an upcoming earthquake) would, predictably, be proven incorrect, but that did not detract from the overall value of the experience for Icke. The woman informed Icke that the spirit had told her that (in brief) Icke was born into the world to lead people to a great awakening.23 This would later be translated into a much more astounding claim that, fatefully, Icke would make on national British television.
There can be little doubt that when David Icke wandered onto the set of The Terry Wogan Show in 1991 that he knew his life was going to change; of course his life had already changed with that fateful visit to the bookstore and his meetings with the psychic, but things were about to change for the worse. Did he know that his actions would result in him becoming the victim of incredible ridicule and bigotry? Did he care? Only David Icke can answer those questions for sure. Nevertheless, it was on the Wogan Show that Icke announced the predictions given to him during his meetings with the psychic; he apparently went a step further and declared himself "the son of the Godhead"24 and destined to be the "healer of the Earth."25 He later adorned himself in turquoise and declared it the mystic colour of the universe. Oddly, while reporters and other members of the press found this claim a source of unremitting humor, just this year Icke had his revenge when scientists announced that "turquoise" was indeed the dominant colour of the universe, just as he had claimed.26 In terms of New Age messages, Icke's claims were not particularly remarkable (even those that have not been subsequently proven by science). But for the average Englishman Icke's New Age message was just too much. The result was disaster, not only for Icke, but also for the Green Party as a whole.
The reaction and fallout from Icke's announcement was immediate and would continue for quite some time. The laughter that greeted Icke's claims on the Wogan Show was but a mere sampling of the incredibly vicious teasing and ridicule he would be subjected to in the months that followed. When Wogan's audience laughed at David's claims, he responded by saying "the best way of removing negativity is to laugh and be joyous … So I am glad that there's been so much laughter in the audience tonight."27 Typical of such hosts, Wogan seized the moment to ridicule his guest even further. "But they're laughing at you," said Wogan, "[not] with you!"28 After a brief gasp, Wogan's insensitive jab was greeted by the audience with hoots of applause and approval. Wogan obviously thought he was being witty, but a more sensible and tolerant person would understand that he was just being vicious and bigoted. Taunting and ridiculing a person in public for their beliefs is not something any truly tolerant person would do. Debating and asking critical questions is fine, but ad hominen attacks and teasing is quite beyond juvenile; it is, as I have said, quite vicious and (in my mind) inexcusably bigoted behavior. Imagine, if you will, what would happen if this type of behavior was adopted for people who believed in Christianity or Judaism, which are, in many ways (as mentioned earlier), just as or more "ridiculous" than anything Icke has ever uttered or written. The result would be outrage, but apparently such behavior is fine when dealing with the New Age movement or the conspiracy community. It would seem that tolerance and respect for different beliefs is something that only applies to mainstream or "approved religions" and ideas, which, of course, is not tolerance at all, but, rather, just another form of popular consensus.
In many ways, the story of David Icke's conversion to the New Age movement reminds me of the story of Shirley MacLaine -- a Hollywood actress who announced in 1983 that she had talked to spirits and aliens in South America.29 Both were high profile figures in their respective societies, both claimed to have had experiences too fantastic for most people to believe, and both were subjected to mass public ridicule for discussing their beliefs in public. After his announcement on the Wogan Show, Icke would spend the better part of the next two years as the laughing stock of England; he could hardly go anywhere without people pointing and laughing at him. It made little difference whether or not Icke was with his family and children; the taunting was relentless. In one particularly appalling incident a group of one hundred youths gathered outside his Isle of Wight home yelling "We want the Messiah" and "Give us a sign, David!" The police had to be called in to remove the mob.30 Newspaper columnists and talk show hosts in the "tolerant" nation of England began using him as the butt of their jokes. A lesser man might have thrown himself into the Thames to save himself and his family from the constant harassment. But Icke remained resolute.
The effect of all of the negative publicity that Icke was receiving began, of course, to be strategically extrapolated upon the Green Party as a whole. The Liberal Democrats began referring to the Greens as being indistinguishable from the mock Monster Raving Loony Party; even the founder of the Loony party could not resist joining the bandwagon of bigotry and came out and declared Icke "too loony even for us."31 Icke apparently informed the Green Party prior to his public announcement that we wanted to resign because he felt his new beliefs would affect the party negatively, but they urged him to continue.32 In any case, his resignation became public knowledge in March of 1991. But Icke's resignation and concern for the party was apparently not good enough, the Green Party UK and in Canada would subsequently set out to totally demolish his reputation and make it clear that this "ridiculous" and "offensive" man did not represent the values of the Green Party. At this point there was no talk, not even a single suggestion from anyone, relating to charges of "anti-Semitism" or "racism" which would later become a regular feature of Green Party attacks on Icke.33 Since other efforts to discredit Icke did not work, one can say that at least the new charges were successful in defaming him, even with they were not true -- but the fact that the claims were not true (or, at least, not apparently true)34 was a mere trifle for those who have sought to banish Icke to the darkest nether regions of society.
The claims that David Icke was an anti-Semite first began after the publication of his books The Robot's Rebellion, …And the truth Shall Set You Free, The Biggest Secret, and his most recent book Children of the Matrix. The latter three books have generated enormous controversy and even protest. For some bizarre reason the bulk of the protests and actions against David Icke have been in Canada; the reason for this is not entirely clear, but as a third generation Canadian I find this development disturbing. Canada is not exactly a hotbed of free speech; in fact, few allegedly "free" societies show less respect for free speech than Canada (Germany being one possible exception), and this may explain the kind of demented hysteria that has surrounded Icke in Canada. The most active leader in the campaign against Icke in Canada has been Green Party candidate Richard Warman, who nearly had my website shut down for merely providing a link to one of David's stories, which he claimed was "defamatory" (a claim I regard as utterly bogus). Warman has been assisted in his efforts by both the Canadian and Ontario Green Parties, as well as the Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai Brith (not to mention a motley assortment newspaper and magazine writers). Icke's detractors have resorted to disseminating demonstrably false information, intimidation of bookstores and venues, destruction of private property, and gross instances of quoting out of context (there is also now an indication that a tactic known as "astroturf" has been used as well -- I will explain this deceptive tool later). The reaction and tactics utilized by Warman and his accomplices would lead you believe that Icke must be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, because little else could justify these kinds of vile strategies. Canadian Dimension magazine even published a story featuring an artist's rendition of a shadowy Icke dressed up as a Nazi with a swastika armband;35 the article was written by a nurse-turned-academic, Will Offley, who is quite skilled at distorting facts and building bogus guilt by association arguments (as will be shown later); where nurse Offley learned this talent is unclear but it may have been from other even more skilled propagandists, such as John Murray and Matthew Kalman. The depth of the deception used to justify the campaign against Icke is, quite frankly, startling; it is little wonder that Icke has come to believe that there must be some sort of sinister forces working behind the scenes to perpetuate it, because somebody has obviously spent a lot of time and money to spread the deception across Canada, and now across the globe as well. As will be shown in parts two and three of this essay, claims and suggestions that Icke is a "racist" and a "neo-Nazi" are spurious in the extreme and at points possibly indicative of some kind of neurosis.
(Please feel free to spread this essay far and wide on the internet; print publication and publication for profit is expressly prohibited without prior authorization from the author)
1. Before anybody gets upset about this comment, which I will document later, I should say that the genesis of their opposition to free speech is very understandable. The well known and terrible history of Jewish persecution was bound to create these kind of reactions, but ultimately, as the distinguished Jewish Professor and free speech advocate Noam Chomsky and others have said, those reactions are misguided and if entertained could threaten the liberty of us all (back to essay)
2. Since I have no idea what Icke really believes and cannot say that he is not simply the ultimate snake-oil (or lizard-oil, as the case might be) salesman, I have chosen to use the term "claims to believe," because I realize that his stated beliefs may be disingenuous. My research has led me to believe that he is not disingenuous, but I have of way of knowing this for sure; only he knows the truth of the matter. Suffice it to say that whenever I say that Icke "believes" something, it should be taken to understand that he claims to believe something -- whether or not he actually does or not I do not know.
3. I would recommend …And the Truth Shall Set You Free as the best overall synopsis of his beliefs. David Icke, …And the Truth Shall Set You Free (Cambridge: Bridge of Love, 1998 ).
4. David Icke, The Biggest Secret (Scottsdale, Arizona: Bridge of Love, 1999): 19.
5. The cover of the book features a picture of Icke completely naked with his arms raised in the air - while Icke does possess a certain charisma and a gift for the gab, he is not exactly Adonis -- as such the cover should be considered more as an indication of his lack of inhibitions than as an indication of vanity. If he was built like Fabio or Brad Pitt the vanity argument might work … but Icke is no Fabio. Subsequent releases of this book have covered the more "private" region of his body, but it is worth a look because it tells you a great deal about the personality of the man. The cover can be view at the following link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/0952614758/reader/1/002-9942749-8105620#reader-link. David Icke, I am me, I am free (San Diego: Bridge of Love, 1998 ).
6. See, for instance, David Icke, The Children of the Matrix (Wildwood, MO: Bridge of Love, 2001): 256-257, 245-246, 249; also, Icke, The Biggest Secret, 28-29, 35.
7. That the human brain has certain reptilian characteristics is fairly well established. Whether or not this lends much support to Icke's lizard theory is another question completely; clearly he thinks that it does. For a scientific overview of the reptilian aspects of the human brain see, Philip Lieberman, Human language and our reptilian brain: The subcortical bases of speech, syntax, and thought, (Cambridge: Harvard University, 2000); or, F. J. Irsigler, "Group differences revealed in morphogenetic parameters," Mankind Quarterly 32.3 (Spring 1992): 285-311.
8. Lorne Gunter, "Some Limits of Tolerance Seem Boundless: Every faith or Spirituality gets Benefit of Doubt; Why Doesn't Christianity?" Edmonton Journal, 30 December 2001, available online: http://www.canada.com/edmonton/edmontonjournal...ry.asp?id=3290E253-1346-4F79-85F7-CB37C8B2B48E, last accessed 2 January 2002; this link is apparently now defunct, but the article can still be seen on David Icke's website at: http://www.davidicke.net/newsroom/europe/england/2002/uk010902b.html .
9. Quoted in Kim Bolan, "Protesters to Target Controversial Author: British Writer David Icke, Who Plans a Workshop in Vancouver, is Accused of Holding Anti-Semitic Views," Vancouver Sun, 11 March 2000, A8.
10. See, for instance, Icke, …And the Truth Shall Set You Free, 67-69.
11. Icke, …And the Truth Shall Set You Free, 466-500; see also, David Icke, Turning of the Tide, video, Bridge of Love, 1996.
12. Michael McCarthy, "Green Conference: Realists Demand a Single Leadership to Improve Image," The Times (of London), 20 September 1991, p.5.
13. Or "football" -- depending on what side of the water you are on. Icke was a goalkeeper, and there is actually an interesting article on Icke's "goaltending" philosophy on the web at the following link: http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/bob.dunning/icke1.htm .
14. David Icke, "About David Icke: The Man, His Philosophy, and His Work," DavidIcke.com, available online at: http://www.davidicke.com/icke/about.html . Last accessed: 7 January 2002.
15. "Icke Out of BBC News," The Times, 4 October 1989.
16. "Greens Savour Bittersweet Victory; European Election Results," The Times, 20 June 1989, p.1.
17. McCarthy, 5.
18. David Icke, It Doesn't Have to Be Like This: Green Politics Explained (London: Green Print, 1990): 7.
19. Icke, It Doesn't Have to Be Like This, 198-204.
20. Icke, It Doesn't Have to Be Like This, ix.
21. Some of the more awkward moments of that broadcast are described in an article published in The Guardian newspaper in March of 2001 by Jon Ronson (a man who gives the term "beware of wolves in sheep's clothing a newer and subtler meaning"); it would also become part of his book Them: Adventures With Extremists. See, Jon Ronson, "Beset by Lizards," The Guardian, 17 March 2001, available online at: http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,6761,457988,00.html . Accessed 7 January 2002.
22. Icke, "About David Icke: The Man, His Philosophy, and His Work."
23. I am summarizing two of Icke's accounts, the first on his webpage, and the second a recorded interview given fairly recently. See, Icke, "About David Icke: The Man, His Philosophy, and His Work"; also, "David Icke: Do you believe your world is real?" News for the Soul, interview of David Icke by Nicole M. Whitney, November 2001, available online at: http://www.newsforthesoul.com/intro-icke/main.html .
24. Anna Pukas, "Neo-Nazis Rally to 'Son of Godhead'," The Sunday Times, 9 July 1995, p.7.
25. Judy Goodkin, "David Icke: A Childhood," The Times Magazine, 7 August 1993, p.42.
26. See, Eugenie Samuel, "The Universe is Turquoise, say Astronomers," New Scientist, 10 January 2002, available online at: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991775 . Last accessed 11 February 2002.
27. Quoted in Ronson.
28. See Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb (New York: Bantam, 1983).
30. "Icke Taunted," The Times, 27 May 1991, p.7.
31. Douglas Broom, "Sutch joy as Loonies secure four seats," The Times, 4 May 1991, p.5.
32. In a personal communication Icke informed me that he had effectively ceased being a member of the Green Party nine months prior to March of 1991, and that it was only after he finally went public with his beleifs that they suddenly indicated that they no longer wanted anything to do with him. It was then that the following article appeared in The Times newspaper: "Icke Quits as Greens' spokesman," The Times, 20 March 1991, p.2
33. See, "Icke Quits as Greens' spokesman," p.2; and, McCarthy, p.5.
34. I cannot see inside David Icke's heart or mind, and as such I cannot say absolutely what is or is not true about what he believes. Icke's detractors have apparently decided that they can see inside his mind, since their arguments against him are not based on his words but upon quasi-psychic assumptions about what he believes. I would suggest that for the public at large Icke must be judged based on what he says, and nothing Icke has ever said or written can be regarded as promoting anti-Semitism -- in fact, as will be shown later, he has consistently spoken against anti-Semitism.
35. Will Offley, "David Icke and the Politics of Madness," Canadian Dimension (May 2000): available online at: http://www.canadiandimension.mb.ca/v34/icke.htm . Last accessed: 20 February 2002.