In June, I saw an advert for a David Icke event due to be held this month in Watford. I didn’t think twice. In antisemitic circles, I have seen David Icke material shared more than any other. Icke is rancid and many of his vicious memes carry hard-core antisemitic images. If people are talking about conspiracies with Rothschild and Zionism and wish to present their case, it is David Icke they hold up. It is true that I could just read what he has to say by purchasing a book on Amazon, but an event is different. An event is multi-dimensional, and you can see both the manner of the man and the way the crowd reacts to him. There was no way I was going to miss the experience. On 27th June, almost five months before the event itself, I had already purchased my ticket.
It would be an understatement to say I am not a fan. The event lasted over four-and-a-half hours and for the last thirty minutes, I was screaming inside for it to end. However, it is also wrong to discard everything that Icke says. In two-hundred and seventy minutes, there is plenty of time for everything, razor sharp commentary, racism and bat-crazy theory alike. My role is never just to sit and wait for the headline. I need to get inside the argument. How can you challenge someone if you do not understand what they are trying to say? Simply ignoring them or calling them ‘cranks’ is not enough.
David Icke clearly resonates with some. That issue must be addressed if you ever seek to understand why people like David Icke can have a Facebook page with over 750k followers and a Twitter profile with another 193k. Why he can take the main auditorium at the Watford Colosseum and why people sit in silence for so long at his events. Don’t just look at Icke’s twisted answers, it is also because of *some* of the questions he asks, that he fills those seats.
The venue and public pressure
Icke’s team did not announce the venue until twenty-four hours before the event. They do this to restrict time for opponents to pressure the venue to cancel the event (for example last year, Old Trafford cancelled an event). When the venue email did come through, it was given as the Watford Colosseum, with a theatre capacity of 1400. During the day, the Jewish Labour Movement, Momentum and a group called ‘Socialists against Antisemitism‘ spread the news they would publicly demonstrate outside the venue:
The counter demo
Much like opposing Gilad Atzmon, this was an open goal. Even without his lizards, Icke’s populist message today mirrors the far-right narrative and attacks issues such as identity politics, LGBTQ, rising left-wing fascist tendency, immigration and state control. He ridicules core left-wing palaces such as modern academia. Putting aside his fruitcake conspiracies, Icke is part of a spectrum that turns our traditional thinking of right-left politics into a confusing archaic mould that is far past its sell by date.
I arrived early as I always do and there was no demonstration outside. I took up a place at the front, with a clear view of the stage. Needing a coffee and with the venue not selling hot drinks, my jacket held my seat and I left the Colosseum. As I did so (at about 18:00), a handful of people began to gather outside. When I returned, there were perhaps fifteen anti-Icke demonstrators:
I have since seen images on social media of someone in a Lizard mask and a few people with a large banner. Consider this – that image above was taken just before 18:20. *ten minutes* before the show started. What is the point of starting a demonstration when 90% of the people are already inside? And whilst *any* opposition may be a welcome sign, the failure of the *SIX* groups associated with this event to create a strong visible presence suggests the demonstration itself represents the fringe rather than the other way around.
Whether moderates in the Labour party like it or not, many of Icke’s UK fans are attached now to the Party. Corbyn’s core faction is the point where ‘far-right’ and ‘far-left’ can intermingle happily. You only need to look at the reaction to the Momentum Facebook post opposing the event (some of the most popular):
This was a response on Twitter from someone claiming to be a Labour member with 29k followers:
Back in my seat, I looked around. There were maybe 800-1000 in the room. One of David Icke’s sons, Gareth, came on stage and played a few tunes on his guitar as a warm-up:
David Icke speaks
How to write up a report on a David Icke event? It wasn’t just the hours I sat in the Colosseum in Watford. I have had to listen to his words again. For five days now I have been living in the poison that is David Icke. Forgive me if this is all a little shaky.
This wasn’t a talk explicitly on ‘Rothschild Zionism‘. In fact, the words ‘Rothschild’, ‘Zionism’ ‘Israel’ ‘Palestine’ and ‘antisemitism’ were barely spoken. The word ‘Jewish’ was only ever mentioned in near-acceptable and contextualised references. Sometimes people’s impression of how this works is distorted. Icke doesn’t stand up and publicly attack ‘the Jews’. Icke’s antisemitism creates a hidden hand, an ‘elite 1%’, behind *everything* (in Icke’s case it is more of hidden talon than a hidden hand). Icke’s antisemitism is rooted in ‘the Protocols‘ and he doesn’t need to attack every Jew, he only has to mention successful ones.
In his video on Rothschild Zionism he said this: ‘Israel is not the home of the Jewish people, it is the fiefdom of the Rothschild dynasty which also controls the America administration, the British administration‘. Every time that 1% is referenced in the talk, a new slide appears. Somewhere in whatever image is then displayed is either a Jewish figure or Jewish symbols:
An Icke slide from the event. A classic reference to the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion‘. Icke talks of those secretly conspiring to control both sides of the argument as that image faces the crowd.
David Icke the populist
David Icke immediately made light of his own infamy, by apologising to those ‘he had not yet offended’ – adding with a promise ‘he will get to them’. The argument presented is structured, layered. He opens with a discussion of identity politics and on these issues some of what he says is accurate and relevant. Icke has intelligence and simple populist attacks on LGBT identifiers generates a loud round of applause. We are told that we are living in an age of ‘inversion’, where doctors don’t heal, universities don’t teach and so on. There is an element of truth in most of the points he makes. He then moves up a level and suggests our lifetime is pre-programmed. We are all slaves, meandering our way through the life-path, just as we are expected to do.
At this point David Icke pulls an extraordinary straw man. He suggests that the belief that there is life on other planets is ridiculed. It’s a magicians trick. Nobody I know of disputes the notion that the universe may be crawling with life. Yet Icke dismissed his opposition by grossly distorting their position. Icke is ridiculed because of his belief in ‘Reptoids‘ not over a discussion of the possibility of other life in the universe. As the evening progressed I realised that this type of blatant distortion is a core part of his delivery.
The first part of the show is entirely about how ‘unconscious’ we are, and in this there is little difference to any other new-age spiritual guide. We’re blind and we need to access beyond our notion of reality to see the truth. Yet Icke is no normal new-age thinker. Icke wants to show us why it is happening, who controls us and what we can see when the ‘curtains open and the mist clears’:
And it starts, we are introduced to the web, ‘inner sanctums’ and ‘secret societies’. The Mossad, the flag of Israel and the Star of David all visible. Jews are 0.2% of the world population so they seem a little over-represented in Icke’s ‘mist clearing’ exercise. Then a fact is thrown at the audience – in ‘1921 the Rockefeller family in American established the Council on Foreign Relations‘. I searched. I found an anniversary history of the Council online that suggests the Council began as an inquiry of academics set up by Woodrow Wilson’s aide Colonel Edward M. House, to look at post world-war international relations. It sought identity as an Anglo-American alliance but eventually morphed into the Council. Rockefeller isn’t mentioned in the history until the 1930s.
This is the heart of popular global conspiracy. They all mention the same targets. The Federal Reserve, the Council on Foreign Affairs, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group and so on. This is little but a rehash of Pat Robertson’s New World Order with the Illuminati organisations all feeding the ‘Antichrist’. It always amuses me how these conspiracy tales can rarely see beyond the New York horizon. I found Icke’s presentation of this over-simplified and sloppy, but hey, who is going to check every ‘conspiracy fact’, thrown their way?
David Icke gives a science lesson
Icke then spends the next two hours going through a check list about ‘controlling perceptions of the target population’. It was clunky and very repetitive. He uses semi-scientific statements, mixed up with total psychobabble to produce a platform upon which he wishes to base his entire philosophy.
Icke is right, we do only see part of what is visible, he is also right in that we only hear part of what can be heard. He delves into why things feel solid and the science of electrons and resistance. Icke uses the existence of rainbows to challenge our concept of reality. We even get told how many chromosomes a human has in comparison to a potato. All good stuff, even if he barely seems to understand some of it (his description of electrons and matter was really shaky and what does it matter if a potato has more chromosomes), but none of it means that Lizard People are walking amongst us.
Once the audience is suitably baffled, and we all ‘fully believe’ we are blind people being led by a manipulative and sadistic ‘something’, it is time for David Icke to discuss the ‘hidden controller’, that central spider controlling the entire matrix. Alien time has arrived!
We meet the hybrids
David Icke begins this ‘level’ by supporting the idea of alien abduction, bringing examples from ancient texts to suggest humans and aliens go ‘way back’. He then uses that to reinforce his ‘grand unified conspiracy‘. This needs to be understood about David Icke. He doesn’t just use ‘a’ conspiracy theory, he somehow supports all of them. In fact, there is not a popular conspiracy that seems to have been excluded from Icke’s conspiracy mash-up (I call it ‘Conspiracies Realigned in an Associated Pattern’- or ‘CRAP’ for short).
As a child I used to read books like ‘Chariot of the Gods‘, and in Watford I felt as if I had been transported back to the 1970s. Icke drove the point home, ‘there is a force that is outside of the human visual field that is manipulating this world‘. At that point he brings us back to his spider’s web, pointing out that the spider at the centre is not actually human. I look around, there is total silence in the room. We have just been introduced to Icke’s hybrids.
David Icke brings us back to conspiracy on earth
Having been presented with the theory, David Icke moves into practice and seeks to show us how those naughty hybrids are manipulating us. He turns to the ‘Project for the New American Century‘, a document from 2000 that is drooled over by modern day conspiracy theorists. Published a year before 9/11, the document is used to suggest that the US had planned to embark on regime change in North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria and thus 9/11 becomes a ‘false flag’ conducted to provide the excuse. In reality it does nothing of the sort. It presents the Geo-political vision of the authors and there are no surprises inside.
The clear tell-tale sign here is that ‘Afghanistan’ is not listed and all the other nations in 2000 were openly hostile to the US. Yet Icke still messes this up and I am using this as an example of how sloppy David Icke is. He puts the slide up and it contains nations such as Lebanon, not included in the original document:
People either hang on David Icke’s every word or throw insults his way. Few people bother to look at his message at all. Several years after 9/11, General Wesley Clark began to publicly speak of a conversation he had with a ‘Senior General’ who had spoken of ‘regime change operations in seven countries over a period of five years’ (see conspiracy site). In that list was Lebanon. Clark’s comments are a second popular source for those pushing the deep-state ‘war on terror’ conspiracy. Icke has clearly mashed-up two separate conspiracy tales. This sloppy research, with little attention to detail, seems to be the way Icke works. Back in the room and with ‘proof’ of the conspiracy given, Icke is now free to play with 9/11:
Icke’s message is rarely one-dimensional. In the slide above is clearly 9/11 conspiracy, but that isn’t Icke’s key point. Few in the room believe the official 9/11 story anyway. Icke seeks to drive home the fact that the ‘hidden hand’ is stopping us from seeing the truth so presents an online warning message. I went online and tested. The first twenty 9/11 conspiracy pages were reached without issue and even Wiki has a 9/11 conspiracy page. The image above isn’t actually from the open web at all but is related to a recent internal crackdown on ‘toxic material‘ by the ‘Reddit‘ platform.
As the internet giants are commercial companies and because of *the market* and *public pressure*, none of them can monetise offensive content, Icke’s complaint seems to be that these companies won’t give ‘haters’ the benefit of an unequal platform (you cannot make money from us but *MUST* give us the same benefits – if you don’t we will tell everyone you’re related to Lizards).
But I placed the slide here because it again highlights the laziness of Icke’s research. In the bottom right corner of the warning image is the logo for ‘The Free Thought Project‘. When I first saw the slide I thought the logo came from the group behind the message itself. It doesn’t. What they are is another Conspiracy-Pseudoscience website. Icke doesn’t seem to have seen this message himself, nor does he appear to have followed through on the content of the article. Had he done so, he could have presented the image as someone really seeing it themselves would have done:
Yet he didn’t. He just screen-grabbed someone else’s story and blindly used that instead. Just lazy.
There was a slyness to the whole presentation. There were dozens of news articles shown on the slides, that Icke used as a prompt to push his theories further. This is an example of one:
It looks like an image of a news report from a legitimate website. Yet almost all the articles were posted by one man, Andrew Cheetham, and *all* these screenshots are taken directly from David Icke’s own website. I tried to find out who Cheetham is but didn’t get very far. Some on Icke’s own forum think he is Icke’s Alter Ego. I saw a little evidence to suggest this is not true but got no further. In any case, Icke’s slideshow creates a sense of legitimacy for crazy arguments when the source of some of these – is Icke himself.
Images of hate
Like the memes he posts, it is the images on the slides that carry more of a sinister message than the talk itself. Here is George Soros, complete with devil face and Lizard eyes:
Although ‘Rothschild Zionism’ is not mentioned in the talk, they are referenced in the slides. Rothschild Zionism is presented as part of the web of global manipulation. Soros is depicted as an evil puppet master. And what are the Rothschild Zionists and people like Soros doing? They are attacking the ‘indigenous’ populations by financing mass immigration. They seek to divide and rule and bring about an end to nation states. All part of the grand plan we are told.
There was a short break at 10:45 and then we returned for another eighty minutes. There was little new in this. It was boring, repetitive and by the end, I wanted to scratch out my eyes.
It could have been worse
To be fair to David Icke the event was not as bad as I expected. To place that ‘compliment’ into context, we must remember that David Icke is the source of some truly horrific memes. Those he doesn’t make, he shares:
David Icke’s links often lead to some of the webs darkest antisemitic sites. His memes are everywhere where antisemites reside. Regardless of how he tries to explain it away, he clearly has attached Jews to power, power to secret power and then secret power to ‘reptoids’.
This I think is still the scariest part of the evening. 1000 people cheering a hard-core antisemite. I cannot tell you how badly that made me feel:
Or perhaps I am being unkind. Maybe like me they were just thankful it was over.
You just have to be stupid
The presentation was clunky, the research sloppy and Icke even gets his conspiracy stories mixed up. The evening was repetitive beyond reason. Icke’s history, from early flirtations with psychics to quoting from the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion‘ in his book ‘The Robots’ Rebellion’ can be found elsewhere. Marlon Solomon asks if Icke is the UK’s leading antisemite. I may have have seen worse, but none with such a reach. I have never personally seen any given rapturous applause by almost a thousand people. All those people heard what I did and yet somehow they felt it was good enough to cheer. Chilling.
I am a firm supporter of Occam’s Razor. The principle that suggests the route with the fewest assumptions is normally the truth. Icke presents the opposite view, creating a long-convoluted route with multiple layers to build an invisible story. Even without the racism I find it nonsensical and unpalatable.
On conspiracy I think that any group of more than three or four people would be incapable of keeping a secret indefinitely. A mid-size corporation cannot even get a train to run on time, so the whole notion of hidden global control defies logic. I am not sure why people cannot see how ludicrous some of Icke’s messages are, and I am not even referring to the existence of the Lizards. One minute Icke is preaching of the humility required for Socratic ignorance and the next he pushes complicated conspiratorial diagrams that present hidden hybrid creatures as supreme controllers. Is he unaware of the hypocrisy and false logic of his own position?
Icke is also evidence of Poe’s Law, but Icke is serious and so are his many fans. Listen to the applause. We dismiss Icke because he is a ‘fruitcake’, but he is one who spreads poison and has a large following. It is wrong to casually dismiss someone who has memes shared in the millions. Icke’s hate should be opposed not ignored.
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