David Icke and The Robot’s Rebellion
by Val Dobson (written in 1996)
Over the last couple of years, a storm has been brewing in British Green circles about the alleged anti-semitism of ‘New Age’ prophet David Icke. This is because he has become the chief spokesman in Britain for the far-right, even fascist, ideas that are now common currency in many sections of the US & Australian New Age/Green movements.
In his 1994 book The Robots’ Rebellion, he alleges that the entire world is the victim of an enormous and age-old conspiracy. According to him, the scenario goes something like this: in the beginning, when the Universe was created, all was Love, Light & Harmony; then, for some reason, a “highly imbalance (sic) aspect of consciousness” called Lucifer came along, and began experimenting with disharmony and negative energy (interestingly, this idea of the mad cosmic scientist introducing Evil into the world via disastrous experiments is incorporated into the theology of both Scientology and the Nation Of Islam).
Humanity, as one of the highest aspects of the Cosmic Consciousness and vital to the whole shebang, has been enlisted in the fight against Lucifer, who is nefariously using sections of mankind. In order to oppose Him, parts of the Cosmic Consciousness have to keep incarnating amongst humanity; for untold millennia the Earth has been a battlefield in the mighty struggle.
Now, Icke obviously thinks that all this stuff is pretty new and original. Actually, it is all bog-standard Theosophy. The basis of most of today’s New Age thinking, Theosophy developed in the late 19th century. Its mish-mash of ideas reflected the cultural values of its (European, white, upper-class) founders: Humanity (rather than rats or microbes, say) is the vessel of Cosmic Consciousness and the current summit of evolution; the Aryan race is the current summit of humanity; mad cosmic scientists, propelled by Luciferian negative consciousness, had botched things up in the past with experiments; sex, materialism, death and several of the lesser races were the results of this experimentation; the Earth has become a cosmic battlefield… etc. OK, granted, I’ve simplified it a hell of lot, but it is still a religion/world-view inescapably founded upon Victorian ideas of race, class and hierarchy. As recently as 1980, the New Age guru David Spangler felt free to write: ” All spiritual societies are hierarchical. They cannot function in any other way. It is obvious that in conducting the affairs of a spiritual society, one would not turn to those who are least attuned…….The seeds of the beginning of this flowering (of the New Age) were planted a very long time ago…when the sons & daughters of the 5th Root Race, the Aryan Race, found their forms and emerged from their cradleland in distant Asia to build towards their revelation, in future time, of yet a newer race…” Little wonder that German Nazis took so enthusiastically to Theosophist ideas!
But back to Icke. Elaborating on the theme, he says that this negative Luciferian consciousness has been, and still is, expressing itself on Earth through an ancient and shadowy organisation he calls The Brotherhood (aka Illuminati, aka New World Order) which has been covertly manipulating nations since the time of Atlantis. This Brotherhood is made up of a whole diversity of organisations, individuals and secret societies: the Freemasons, the Templars, the UN, most of Hitler’s SS, every head of the CIA, all of the international banking families and most international politicians and industrialists past and present. In fact, pick any name from history, and that person was either a Brotherhood member or a Brotherhood pawn, with the exception of Jesus, Confucious, Buddha and any other New Age star. These are “volunteer” Good Guys incarnating on Earth specifically to do battle with the Bad Guys. And pick just about any event from history – any revolution, any war, any stock market crash – and no, it wasn’t a result of long-term historical-social-economic forces, but another bit of ingenious masterminding by The Brotherhood. The damming proof of all this mostly comes from an astonishing document called The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion. Discovered in France in the late 1800s (by a courageous aristocratic lady spy who obtained them from an anonymous informant), it is no less than the Brotherhood’s own detailed blueprint for world-wide domination via covert political, social and economic manipulation. “It is painfully obvious,” writes Icke “that whoever wrote the Protocols was either a prophet of extraordinary powers…..or….knew the Brotherhood game plan for the 20th century.”
Well, neither, actually. The Protocols were simply the best-written of an enormous body of anti-semitic and paranoid conspiracy writings that poured out of France and Russia in the 1800s. From our comfortable viewpoint here in 1990s Europe, where racially-inflammatory writings are legally proscribed, it is difficult to imagine the atmosphere in Europe of only a century ago, when best-selling novels featured evil Jews engaged in murderous plots, when priests delivered sermons assuring their congregations that Jews drank the blood of Christian children, when popular pamphlets alleged that Jewish leaders regularly called up Satan to discuss their plans for world conquest. (You might get a flavour of it by reading one of those evangelistic anti-occult publications and mentally substituting Jew for Witch or Satanist.) It was not only not only the Jews that were supposedly bent on destroying Christian civilisation; as early as 1806, a French Catholic priest named Barruel was alleging a world-domination conspiracy consisting of Jews, Freemasons, Illuminati, Assassins and any other secret society then current. (The Freemasons and Illuminati were rivals and both anti-Jewish; the Assassins were a Syrian Muslim sect that were unlikely ever to have heard of its European co-conspirators – but what do facts matter when God Himself has revealed The Truth to you?)
In that atmosphere, it was understandable that Jews should start looking for a homeland where they would be safe from persecution; in 1897, the first World Zionist Conference took place in Switzerland. This gives a clue to the dating of the Protocols, as the name “Zion”, in relation to the Jews, was hardly known outside Jewish circles until then. The Conference wasn’t secret – it was open to all interested parties regardless of religion or status, and most European & American newspapers covered it. Nevertheless, it inevitably fed the ongoing folk stories of clandestine Jewish conspiracies.
From Icke’s description of the Protocols as “a blueprint”, you might expect to find specific details of the mayhem planned for this century, eg: “Around 1914, we shall encourage the Serbs to assassinate the Austro-Hungarian heir, plunging Europe into a ruinous war, which will pave the way for the rise of a German dictatorship…” etc. In fact, the Protocols, when not crowing about the progress the Jews and Freemasons have already made in taking over the world, are almost all generalised descriptions of how political and social unrest might be fomented: “Throughout Europe…..we must create ferments, discords and hostility……By our intrigues, we shall tangle up all the threads which we have stretched into the cabinets of all states by means of politics, by means of economic treaties or loan obligations. In order to succeed at this, we must use great cunning and preparation during negotiations and agreements…” and so interminably on. The few specific prescriptions for actions smack of their time, such as the plan to hide vast amounts of explosives in the then-new underground railway systems in order to blow up cities – the Brotherhood were evidently putting everybody off the scent by sneakily keeping the idea of airborne bombs (first used in 1915) well up their sleeves.
The genesis of the Protocols has long been well documented by writers such as Norman Cohn (Warrant For Genocide, pub. Eyre & Spottiswood 1967, Serif 1996). Far from being discovered by spies and informers, ready-written, they were assembled from ideas and writings (such as Barruel’s conspiracy theory) that were already in circulation. Much of it was lifted almost word-for-word from a French political satire, Dialogue Au Enfers Entre Montesquieu Et Machiavel. Published in 1864, it is a debate between two characters, one arguing for democracy and the other supporting despotism. The despot-supporter argues that most people are too stupid or apathetic to govern themselves, and lengthily outlines various stratagems whereby they can be manipulated, coerced and hoodwinked by their political masters. It is these arguments which were plagiarised to form the basis of The Protocols.
Using these particular writings as the basis of a “secret” world-conspiracy plan was something of a stroke of genius. The Dialogue did not name any group of people; it was written purely as a satire on the general politics of the age. But good satire comes from taking a grain of truth and magnifying it. The 19th century was as politically turbulent as our own times; then, as now, most people had a healthy suspicion that their leaders were dishonest, power-hungry and weak enough to be manipulated in their turn by other masters. The despotism side of the Dialogue, and therefore The Protocols, mirrors that suspicion and reflects it back a hundred-fold.
By their very nature, the Protocols lend themselves to almost any time and place. They have had a remarkably wide circulation for a “secret” document, having been published across five continents in dozens of languages. Sometimes a little re-writing has been required to reflect local circumstances; for instance, in the Japanese translation, the lack of Japanese Jews and Freemasons meant that the arch-enemy China had to be elevated to a starring role in the conspiracy.
Both Stalin and Hitler used the Protocols as justification for their extermination programmes. And as I write this (May 1996), I read that the Russian Nazi Party leader is quoting the Protocols in a call to liquidate Jews and Gypsies, while a spokesman for the US Militias is quoting them as justification for an armed uprising against the Government.
To be fair, Icke is honest enough to admit that some of the people who have been spreading all this Brotherhood conspiracy stuff are not the sort of people he would want to spend time with; nor does he deny that The Protocols, in their usual form, are violently anti-semitic. He asserts that he is not against Jews and that Jews have suffered much and are victims of the Brotherhood also (although he makes almost no mention of the Protocols’ major part in their suffering). He actually admits that they may be forged, but claims that they have been rewritten to arouse anti-Semitism – “Zion” was originally “Sion”, “goyim” was originally “cattle” & so on. This is contradictory on two counts. Firstly, the Protocols right back to the earliest versions have always been anti-semitic – his New Age version is simply another rewriting, originating from the American New Right. Secondly, if he accepts that they are forged in parts, how does he know which bits are true? Aha, says our Dave, the Brotherhood produced it deliberately to spread confusion, suspicion, division & hatred; that is exactly what it has been doing; therefore the parts of the Protocols which talk about the Brotherhood spreading confusion etc. must be true; that therefore proves the existence of the Brotherhood and their deadly conspiracy. QED!
By now, you’re probably wondering just how a nice bloke like Icke got mixed up with the loony fascists who have been peddling this stuff for decades (it has been reported that British Nazi groups now instruct their members to read his books and attend his lectures). A look at his biographies indicates some possible answers.
He had a difficult childhood, with a strict, domineering father who constantly crushed his self-confidence; any display of weakness by the young David bought, at best, a harsh “Get a grip on yourself!” or, at worst, a ranting torrent of verbal fury. At the same time, he was close to his mother and idealised her. In adult life, he may have deeply internalised these two disparate parent-figures, turning them into archetypes of good and evil, which he has projected onto outward figures. Could it be that he has found in this Luciferian-conspiracy-versus-cosmic-Good idea powerful echoes of his control-freak father and loving but helpless mother? That may explain why he hangs desperately on to it and spreads it, even though he admits it could be fake, admits it has been used for evil ends, admits he is personally repelled by many of its supporters.
So will he carry on endorsing the Protocols? When unresolved psychological conflicts take control, reason goes out of the window. After the 1991 “Son Of Godhead” fiasco (when he went on television to announce what he saw as his true spiritual destiny and was widely pilloried as insane), he admitted that he wasn’t in control: “David Icke would have said ‘Up yours sunshine’ but David Icke was at the back of the bus trying to make sense of what was happening at the front. My voice of reason was not in control.”
Personally, I like David Icke. He’s got guts, passion and some great ideals. But, in giving his high-profile support for this collection of paranoid, hysterical, fascist black propaganda, he is no different from the mediaeval cleric standing before the mob and screaming: “The devils’ spawn must burn!” Does he really want to take on that kind of karma?
This article was written in 1996, when the far-right tendency in the New Age movement was apparent to everybody – Icke was simply repeating what many so-called ‘servants of the light’ on the New Age fringe believed (and still believe). This tendency is not at all new – it is inherent in the whole New Age belief structure. In 1988, I wrote an article about New Age Fascism, explaining this.
David Icke is still pushing these paranoid Cosmic Conspiracy theories – in his latest book (published 1999),he is now accusing various world leaders of being Satanists, murderers, child abusers and disguised alien lizards. (This last idea is currently popular on those wilder shores where UFOnuts meet NWO conspiracy buffs. Its roots lie largely in 50’s American SF alien-invasion movies – such as ‘I Married A Monster From Outer Space’ – which were a reflection of American popular fears of covert Communist takeover. Additionally, the US 80s SF TV series ‘V’ specifically featured nasty reptilian aliens – their favourite snack was a cute fluffy kitten swallowed whole and live – disguising themselves as human world leaders; it was a very popular series.)
More seriously, he is also using this book to propagate the old Jewish ‘Blood Libel’, stating it as fact that highly secret high-level Jewish rituals included child sacrifice. Evidently, he has now gone beyond sitting “at the back of the bus, trying to make sense of what was happening in front”; he’s now been left behind by the bus altogether.
To hear Icke’s side of the story, go to www.davidicke.com. A lot of Theosophy’s beliefs and philosophy are derived from Gnosticism. To find out more about this ancient and highly diverse belief system, go to www.gnostic.org