As this white-haired 65-year-old gazes out to sea recalling his steam train loving youth and a life of yesteryear, it’s hard to believe he’s embroiled in the unpicking of the modern world’s greatest conspiracy.
Meet David Icke. You might have heard his theories; maybe dipped into one of his 20 books, which claim the human race lives in a holographic false reality, controlled by shapeshifting 12-foot paedophilic lizards whose HQ is in our hollowed-out moon.
You probably have a preconception about what sort of man an apprehensive UNILAD crew was faced with on a cold January day in his hometown on the Isle of Wight. You probably think he’s nothing like you.
This is how David Icke changed our minds:
Preconceptions – predicated by the very nature of judging an author by his book cover – are sometimes wrong.
Take it from someone who had their assumptions dashed after meeting the man, the myth, the alleged racist, the former laughing stock, the anarchic icon.
David Icke, the public persona and so-called conspiracy theorist, is a passionate orator who bears the frustration of thinking he knows something we don’t.
His theories – which he claims are backed up with hard evidence – fill more than 20 books, the latest of which professes to uncover Everything You Need To Know But Have Never Been Told.
They go far beyond the realms of a reptilian race, he tells UNILAD.
His current concern which he wishes to share with the young generation is the impending threat of AI, Icke explained, raising his voice slightly as he asserts he’s been warning of this phenomenon for years.
Icke likens the astounding 21st-century progress of AI technology to watching a car crash in slow motion, saying it signifies the ‘end of free thought’ and will ‘hijack human emotion’ in the long term.
He believes the mission to ‘connect the human mind to AI’ is a plot constructed by the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg – a ‘t-shirt-wearing man-child’.
Incidentally, as UNILAD arrive at his home, Icke’s Facebook page has just been inexplicably taken down – again.
He believes the ‘mainstream media’ is working to conceal the ‘bigger picture’ which illustrates the systems underpinning our society, for those like him who are able to ‘connect the dots’.
He also warns of the others operating out of Silicon Valley, which he playfully dubs ‘The Devil’s Playground’.
Icke is the darling of the anti-establishment, hence his broad appeal to anarchic souls on the world wide web.
Yet his disdain for politicians and the elite one per cent comes from his belief they are puppets enacting a grander scheme for human control and a New World Order.
Brushing off President Donald Trump as a ‘man-child’ akin to Zuckerberg, Icke claims ‘the US is not run by him, any more than it was run by Bush or Obama’.
He continued to connect them to the reptilian race you’ve heard so much about:
This agenda for the world doesn’t happen within the period of office of a Prime Minister or a President. It’s not those people making the decisions.
It’s this network which is always there, which has a psychopathic, no-empathy mentality that is running this world. That’s what we’re dealing with.
And, yes, it does take shape in a reptilian form in the shadows, but also through humans too, and they’re the ones running the world.
Icke’s unique cocktail of philosophical discussion mixed with conspiracy theory culminates in claims stating humans live in a hologram where gravity and vibrating strings are the principles which control perception.
If his other theories regarding the reptilian race weren’t so violently graphic, you might liken the white-haired islander to a New Age hippie, born as he was in 1952.
Pulling the strings is the elite, including the Royal family, the Rothschilds, members of the cult of Illuminati and other such privileged organisations of power, who take form as ‘a reptilian race who feed off human energy’, according to Icke.
He goes onto accuse these lifeforms of paedophilic rituals, describing them in detail:
The moon is actually a command centre for extraterrestrial groups, including reptilians. This reptilian race feed of human low-vibrational emotion, and there’s a particular energy of children before they reach puberty that it wants.
So they put the children through a ritual that builds up terror and then kill the child. They drink the blood, because there’s a certain adrenaline in the blood from terror, which is like a nectar to them.
Icke voices concern over societal structures many of us fear: increasing control of the police state, financial instability, structures stopping freedom of expression and huge rifts in society, be they of gender, race or religion.
Indeed, Icke has been accused of racism himself many times over, with some organisations like the Anti-Defamation League reading his theories on the so-called ‘shape-shifting lizards’ to be an anti-semitic code word for Jewish people.
Furthermore, many feel his endorsement of the undoubtedly anti-semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion document as legitimate, translates into Icke endorsing hatred of Jews.
Icke denies this vehemently and argues the text is not about Jewish people at all. In his mind, the word ‘Jew’ was supposedly used as a code word for actual, literal lizard forms, which do not relate to any Earth race.
In the quiet reality – whatever that may be – of his coastal home when Icke chats about the football score, his three kids, and the plot line of his favourite TV dramas, the former media man cuts an unthreatening figure.
Born to a working class family in Leicester in 1952, Icke’s lifelong dream of becoming a professional footballer were cut short by rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 21.
After leaving Coventry, Icke became a BBC Sports broadcaster and later, through ‘an extraordinary series of ridiculous coincidences’, was invited to represent the Green Party in Parliament.
However his life changed down at the seafront on the Isle of Wight, outside a gift shop stuck in a Great British seaside time machine, called Platform Fun – and from that point onwards, he would challenge the very system that made his formative years so successful.
As David played with his eldest son, he recalled, he heard a ‘very strong voice’ which told him to go and look at the books on the shelves of this little store.
The ‘transformative’ voice, which he also described as a ‘thought form’, guided him to a book by the psychic, Betty Shine, which Icke greedily consumed in less than 24 hours.
After an initial scepticism over her work, Icke went to see Shine and recalls:
She told me I would go out on the world stage and reveal great secrets; that there was a story which had to be told.
I started to see what was really happening, and that’s when this synchronistic coincidence sequence really kicked in. And that’s when I went on The Wogan Show…
During this infamous television interview, Icke claimed he was the ‘Son of God’:
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Icke describes the ‘historic levels’ of ‘incessant ridicule’ he suffered before being ‘left in the gutter’ by a society which made him a laughing stock.
David, who’s been married twice, said:
I went through levels of public national ridicule. I couldn’t walk down the street or go to the pub without being laughed at. Comedians only had to say my name to get a giggle.
You’ll hear people say, ‘Oh, that David Icke, he believes in lizards’ – and that’s as far as it fr*kkin’ goes!
I could’ve chosen to walk away in hurt but I chose not to be hurt. I’m sitting here now and I talk to thousands of people all over the world, on every continent.
Icke tells UNILAD how he reconciles his controversial work with his everyday life:
I move seamlessly between conspiracy and reality concepts, but I’m also living in the world as it is. I like a cup of tea, a glass of wine, I watch a bit of football.
I’m not a special person, I’m just doing what I do because I feel it’s right. You could offer me £50 million to still work at the BBC, and you could say, ‘Do whatever you like; none of this would’ve happened, none of the ridicule or abuse’.
I’d say, ‘No thanks’ because I wouldn’t change anything about my life.
A firm believer in the power of people and our control over our own perception, David left us with this one thought: ‘Life is not one thing – it’s whatever you want it to be’.
Lizards, conspiracy and controversy aside, it’s a message which can motivate us all.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.