On Sunday, March 19th, British conspiracy theorist David Icke will be speaking all day at the Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville Street in Vancouver. Icke's politics are a very weird blend of New Age guru, anti-Semitism and neofascism. He is also antichoice.
Icke's background, politics and connections show there is an urgent need for the pro-choice and women's mevements to join forces with the Jewish community, gays and lesbians, people of colour, the left and all other communities under threat by the far right. The backgrounder below should give a fair picture of what Icke stands for, and who supports him.
On the face of it, few people would credit a retired soccer player who rants about a world takeover by blood-drinking lizards from outer space as being much of a threat to democracy. And as a general rule, they would probably be right.
David Icke, however, is an exception to that rule.
Icke, 48, is a native of Leicester, England. For five years he played professionally for the Coventry City and Hereford United soccer teams until forced to retire by arthritis. He subsequently went on to become a sports announcer for BBC-TV. For three years from 1988 to 1991 he was national spokesperson for the British Green Party, until he began a political evolution that was to begin with his expulsion from the Greens and wind up with his current involvement with anti-Semitism, neofascism, and lizards from Mars.
At first this evolution seemed relatively harmless. Icke began to
flirt seriously with New Age theories, and then began to act on
them. He dressed in turquoise, and began to call himself the
godhead. But by the time his book
The Robot's Rebellion
was printed in 1994, his trajectory had begun to take quite a
different course. In 1996, the British magazine
Perspectives wrote that this book
indicated a convergence of
New Age thinking with Nazi philosophy. Casting aside his pat concerns
about the environment, Icke enthusiastically embraced the classic Nazi
conspiracy theory, alleging that the world is controlled by a secret
cadre of The Elite.
He openly endorsed The Protocols of the
Elders of Zion, the Tsarist anti-Semitic forgery that informed
Hitler's notion of a global Jewish conspiracy.
The following year Icke brought out another book,
And the truth
shall set you free. This one, however, was self-published, as its
content was so objectionable that his publisher refused to have it
printed. And small wonder. The book repeated Icke's previous
claims that the Protocols were true, and went on to state:
strongly believe that a small Jewish clique which has contempt for the
mass of Jewish people worked with non-Jews to create the First World
War, the Russian Revolution, and the Second World War....They then
dominated the Versailles Peace Conference and created the
circumstances which made the Second World War inevitable. They
financed Hitler to power in 1933 and made the funds available for his
In this book, Icke went even further. He began to flirt explicitly
with Holocaust denial, saying
why do we play a part in suppressing
alternative information to the official line of the Second World War?
How is it right that while this fierce suppression goes on, free
copies of the Spielberg film, Schindler's List, are given to
schools to indoctrinate children with the unchallenged version of
events. And why do we, who say we oppose tyranny and demand freedom of
speech, allow people to go to prison and be vilified, and magazines to
be closed down on the spot, for suggesting another version of
history. He also denounced the Nuremberg Trials as
a calculated exercise in revenge and manipulation.
Icke's politics today are a mishmash of most of the dominant
themes of contemporary neofascism, mixed in with a smattering of
topics culled from the U.S. militia movement. He has written diatribes
on the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral
Commission as examples of secret plots to take over the world. He
opposes gun control as a plot by this Elite, which has deliberately
orchestrated numerous mass shootings to whip up opposition to guns. He
has repeatedly posted anti-abortion literature and articles on his web
site. He rails against conspiracies to implant microchips in
everyone's bodies, coded with the Satanic number
even accuses the U.S. government of carrying out the Oklahoma City
bombing and murdering 168 men, women and children.
For a decade Icke has exhibited signs of serious mental
instability. In his web site autobiography he reveals that as early as
1990 he became aware of
a presence around me, like 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.’ A year
later, on holiday in Peru, Icke describes hearing voices:
looked at the mound, a voice in my head began to say: ‘Come to
me, come to me, come to me...’. Suddenly I felt me feet pulled
to the ground again like a magnet, the same as in the newspaper shop,
but this time far more powerful. My arms them shot above my head,
with no decision by me for them to do so.... A flow of powerful energy
began to go into the top of my head like a drill, and I could feel the
flow going the other way up from the ground through my feet. It was
then I heard the third voice in my head, something that has never
happened since. It said very clearly: ‘It will be over when you
feel the rain’.
Over the last year Icke's writings have become so paranoid and so extreme that many are probably inclined to dismiss him as posing any sort of threat, or requiring a response. Icke is now arguing in all seriousness that the Illuminati plot to take over the world is actually being carried out by a race of extraterrestrial reptiles in human form. They are described, literally, as being child-sacrificing, blood-drinking Satan-worshippers capable of changing their shape, whose ranks include George Bush, Bill and Hilary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, Bob Hope and Kris Kristofferson, among others.
David Icke is not alone. He is a small industry in a large and lucrative market of often well-to do New Age boomers. He has several web sites, an e-magazine, his own publishing house, and at least 9 books and 4 videotapes to his credit. He is constantly on the road, touring North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, the Pyramids, and elsewhere. In the last five years he has spoken in Vancouver as many times, and if the audiences have not been as large as the 450 he claims turned out to hear him in Toronto last October, the fact remains he hopes to fill the Vogue Theatre on March 19. It's a large milieu that can afford the hefty prices Icke charges—up to $67 to attend a lecture, forty to fifty dollars for videotapes—and that generates a sizeable income for Icke and his message of conspiracism, fear and hate.
To organize all this, Icke has developed an international network of people who work with him and for him. They book the dates, churn out the posters and press releases, do the advance work, pick him up at the airport, get him to the hotel, introduce him, and get him back to his flight on time. They also show clearly why David Icke is a dangerous man, because they underscore his politics in an unmistakable way.
Icke is undeniably a flake, and a world-class flake, but his danger comes from his alliances as well as his politics. And it's the far right who handle this man, who package and promote and present his message across Canada and around the world.
Take Joseph Duggan. Duggan is the proprietor of Strong Eagles Productions, the company organizing Icke's current Vancouver speaking engagement. Duggan makes his living in part from organizing B.C. speaking engagements for a string of conspiracy theorists and famous personalities of the extreme right like Glen Kealey, Cathy O'Brien, Len Horowitz and others. Duggan also used to be the health editor of Shared Vision until last year, which has itself advertised tours by Icke and hosted speeches by him as well. Interspersed with monthly columns on health foods and natural healing, Duggan's writings in Shared Vision also promoted the far right anti-government activist Murray Gauvreau , Colorado militia supporter Suzanne Harris , and the notorious Glen Kealey.
In March 1997, Duggan's column featured the use of extensive
quotations from the book War Cycles, Peace Cycles by
American writer Richard K. Hoskins. Hoskins has been denounced as
a virulent anti-Semite who is a leading ideologue of the Christian
Identity movement by no less a source than Conrad Black's
National Post. When Aryan Nations member Buford Furrow was arrested in
Los Angeles last August after shooting and wounding five people at a
Jewish community centre and murdering a Filipino postal worker, police
found a copy of War Cycles, Peace Cycles in his car.
Icke's books and videos are also distributed by an organization in Salmon Arm, B.C. called The Preferred Network. The Preferred Network's web site advertises at least four of Icke's books and the same number of videotapes, as well as an extensive selection of U.S. and Canadian conspiracy materials covering the traditional themes particular to the far right: the government coverup of the Oklahoma City bombing, The 10 Secrets Revenue Canada Doesn't Want You To Know, Humanity's Extraterrestrial Origins, the AIDS coverup, the Ebola coverup, the Lockerbie coverup, the PanAm 800 coverup, Satanism And The CIA, and Kari Simpson's expose of the gay agenda in B.C. schools.
David Lethbridge, director of the Salmon Arm Coalition Against Racism,
has described the organizer of The Preferred Network in the following
a well-attended demonstration opposing the Multilateral
Agreement on Investment was held [in the spring of 1998] in Salmon
Arm, B.C.... Working the fringes was Wes Mann, organizer of the
Preferred Network. Mann was handing out flyers for conspiracy
advocates David Icke, Ted Gunderson and Cathy O'Brien. Whenever he
could, Mann would strike up a conversation with one of the
demonstrators, then write down their name and phone number. I knew who
Mann was. His Preferred Network catalog carries several dozen books
and tapes promoting the usual New Age fare: cancer cures, spiritualist
prophecies, UFO tales and so on. But much of the catalog consists of
materials promoting right-wing militias and right-wing conspiracy
theories, and books by notorious fascists and antisemites such as
Eustace Mullins. I went over to Mann, who did not recognize me, and
began to question him. Within minutes he was telling me that the MAI
was the work of a conspiracy organized by the mysterious ‘Black
Nobility’ and the ‘International Bankers.’ The
anti-Jewish code words were obvious. Soon Mann was telling me that the
antisemitic forgery The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion was authentic,
that the Nazi Holocaust had never occurred, that the contemporary Jews
were not Jews at all but descendants of the Turkish Khazars, and that
the fascist Eustace Mullins was ‘a brilliant
In Ottawa, Icke's key organizer is Tom J. Kennedy. Kennedy was
responsible for much of the organizational detail of Icke's
October 1999 speaking tour in Ottawa, Toronto, and Windsor, Ontario,
also acting as his gofer and driver. But Kennedy's activities do
not stop there. He is an active supporter of Canada's DeTax
movement a far right current that imitates the tax-resistance
strategies of the Freemen and other Christian Patriot groups in the
U.S. Kennedy's web site also promotes Glen Kealey's
conspiracist workshops, and other similar endeavours. And his politics
become even clearer when one reads the materials Kennedy has posted on
the internet over his own name. On January 18, 1999, he posted an
article attacking usury [a favourite code word among the far right for
the international Jewish Bankers Conspiracy]. He had originally found
this article on a British web site, and liked it so much he reposted
it to his own list. The British group that had written the article,
Final Conflict, is one of Britain's hard-core neo-nazi groups,
whose web site carries articles entitled
Did Six Million Really
Die and slogans reading
Long Live Death. Four months later,
on May 6, 1999 Kennedy posted an article on secret societies he had
picked up from the Hoffman Wire. The Hoffman Wire is a far-right
Holocaust denial organization based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, not
far from the headquarters of Aryan Nations.
Kennedy's web site now carries an article
Ultimate Label ‘Anti-Semitic,’ which clarifies his
endorsement of Icke's politics:
I have always been motivated to
find out the real reasons why particular researchers and historians
get targeted with the ultimate label ‘Anti-Semitic’ and
other lesser labels such as ‘Neo-Nazi’ and
‘Racist’ Needless to say, I was motivated to follow the
information in search of reasons why David Icke was being so labelled
during his Ontario '99 tour.... Perhaps the unfair labelling of
researchers as ‘Anti-Semites’ has a hidden agenda to keep
people from seeking the ‘truth?’ Or could this whole
‘Anti-Semitic’ labelling be another ‘divide and
conquer’ deflection to keep us busy while the real 10,000 year
agenda of the Freemasons and Bilderbergers is being completed? Just
wondering?? In probability, the labelling of Tom Kennedy as
anti-Semitic might have more to do with his stated support for
Holocaust denier David Irving (
a meticulous historical
researcher), or with his pal Ernst Zundel, who told Kennedy in the
Tom, you are writing about the usurious money
system which reaps the Financial Elite multiple millions
annually. What you are writing about is even more sacred than
‘the holocaust,’ so be very careful for your
David Icke's associations with the extreme right are not confined
to Canada, nor are they only a recent phenomenon. One of the most
ominous instances of this was documented in an article in the London
Evening Standard concerning Icke's 1995 speaking tour of Britain
to promote his newest book, The Robot's Rebellion. Journalist Mark
Honigsbaum reported that
what worries the Jewish community most is
that Icke's veiled anti-Semitic references are now attracting the
attention of more sinister British forces, in particular Combat 18,
the neo-Nazi group which recruits among football's violent
hooligan fringe. The Jewish Chronicle has reported how Combat 18 has
taken to publicizing Icke's current tour in its internal journal,
Putsch. Citing Icke's recent lecture in Glastonbury, Putsch
claimed that Icke ‘spoke of ‘the sheep’ and how the
Zionist-operated government, sorry, ‘Illuminati’, uses
them for its own ends. The Combat 18 report continued:
to talk about the bug conspiracy by a group of bankers, media moguls,
etc.—always being clever enough not to mention what all these
had in common’.
Combat 18 is fascist. The numbers do not stand for
one-eight, the first and eighth letters of the alphabet. A
and H, as in Adolph Hitler. C18 was for much of the 90's the most
important and the most violent of the British neo-Nazi movement, with
a number of murders to its credit. C18 has now fallen on hard
times. Its main leader, Charlie Sargent, is serving a life term for
the first degree murder of one of his own followers, and the group
itself promptly split in two over a bitter struggle over finances; but
none of this prevented it from carrying out two bombings in black and
Bangladeshi neighbourhoods in London last summer, or of being
suspected in the bombing of a gay pub that killed two and sent 60
people to hospital. Such are David Icke's friends and associates.
Despite this record, Icke enjoys a surprising degree of support from unexpected quarters. Connie Fogal, married to the long-time leftie alderman Harry Rankin, has had her organization, the Defence of Canadian Liberty Association, set up a literature table at one of Icke's appearances. Paul Hellyer of the Canada Action Party attended Icke's last Vancouver speech. Icke is listed as a contributor to the supposedly left-wing tabloid The Radical, published in Quesnel and distributed widely throughout B.C. And Icke's tour is being advertised in local New Age publications Shared Vision and Common Ground.
The fact is that some of what Icke says has a resonance in these quarters. He's against world conspiracies, free trade, the MAI, the WTO and corporate globalism. Many of his far right supporters are active in other areas as well: cannabis legalization, alternative health, anti-corporate activism, even support for native sovereignty struggles like Gustavsen Lake. It's long overdue for the left, the environmental movement, feminists, anti-WTO activists, lesbians and gays, and yes, even New Agers, to start looking more closely at Icke and his friends. The advocates of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism will seldom if ever reveal their real agenda. They prefer to work in the shadows, using coded language, building patiently for a new and improved Reich. The threat they pose is no less real simply because it doesn't register on the radar screen. Yet.
All we need to do is look at Austria to see why these politics have to be confronted, isolated and defeated, and the price we will all pay if they are not.