The higher the wisdom the more incomprehensible does it become by ignorance. It is a manifest fact that the popular man or writer, is always one who is but little in advance of the mass, and consequently understandable by them: never the man who is far in advance of them and out of their sight. – Herbert Spencer
Hardly ever throughout history does there arise figures who truly approach the latter description by Spencer. Renegades, contrarians, free-thinkers, or whatever other labels they may go by, tend by definition to venture beyond the norm, and often end up with significantly different convictions from what the mainstream culture as an aggregate tends to hold on to. I consider David Icke to be among those matching Spencer’s criteria, and possibly even the closest contemporary figure in this regard. This is not said because I agree with every single claim and argument Icke presents throughout this almost 700-page-long book – because I certainly do not – but rather in admiration of his extraordinary ability to organize a vast amount of information, and how he makes sense of contemporary and prior events to all fit together.
I think I can say without a doubt that the most controversial part of the book is the first couple of chapters. While he later touches on issues like censorship, Artificial Intelligence, the migrant crisis, never-ending wars, the failure of the American health and education systems, etc., which are definitely closer to Overton’s window of “acceptable speech”, he first delineates a radically different narrative of reality and metaphysics than either side of the contemporary atheism/religion distinction thereof. Icke’s narrative isn’t just made up out of nothing, however, as he grounds his perspective upon a certain interpretation of physics – quantum physics in particular. The space between the nucleus and the electron in the atom is composed of energy, he emphasizes, and concludes that it’s energy rather than solid material that is the most important component of the reality we’re living in. He continually cites Albert Einstein and less well-known physicists to further back his interpretation, as well as philosophers of a variety of eras (especially the Gnostics).
From this, he extrapolates that interpersonal connections are highly dependent on energy/frequencies like the connection between the nucleus and the electron, and also considers – similar to Descartes – the possibility that there are demonic (what Icke calls “archontic” and “demiurgic”) metaphysical powers keeping the masses ignorant and using their negative energy as their nutrition source. Here’s where the most controversial aspects of Icke’s doctrine comes into play, and which appears to have some similarity to that of El Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. The “Archontic Hidden Hand” or the “Demiurgic force” is, according to Icke, what has created the simulation we’re living in, the “bad copy” of how the original reality operates, and furthermore, this metaphysical entity has placed out a species of shape-shifting Reptillian/human hybrids to do its bidding in keeping control of the perception of the world population, and to fuel negative energy for its sustenance.
Naturally, such a presentation of reality is difficult for most to adopt as it’s so significantly different from what they’ve been previously taught, and it’s important in such circumstances to recall Carl Sagan’s dictum that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Regarding the quality of Icke’s evidence of such, he cites some personal anecdotes, abstract thinking, and other works he has read on the issue, so I don’t find that sufficient in itself to adopt such convictions, but rather to be worth considering if I am later to come across data which appears to support them. Though he has a bibliography at the end of his work with a list of books he’s citing, I consider Icke to do a poor job in general with his referencing, and could significantly boost his credibility if he got better in this regard. Having recently authored a booklet with a controversial position on vaccines, I considered the credibility of the references to be my strongest strength of persuasion on the issue, and I’m therefore sort of disappointed that Icke has not been very rigorous on this central aspect of writing controversial non-fiction books. Hopefully, his new book “The Trigger” on the 9/11 attacks and other future books of his will be better at referencing as such, but the perspective he presents I certainly consider thought-provoking either way.
As an epistemological principle, I consider it more beneficial to look at truth as probabilistic than binary, as humans don’t have a direct connection with the objective world but have to discover it by using an imperfect mind looking at incomplete and possibly skewed information. In some cases, where all the scientific research and observation appears to support a position, it can seem “obvious” that something is true, i.e. that it has a very high probability – approaching 100% – of being so. In other cases, however, the evidence may be less clear, and what has been previously considered obvious in past eras may sound nonsensical to most of us today.
Furthermore, it’s also important to remember that although models of how reality work definitely do not always have perfect theoretical foundations, they can still be useful to acquire a better understanding of reality, which can be used to predict future events. From such a perspective, I think, one can begin to recognize why looking into David Icke and other figures commonly denounced as “conspiracy theorists” and “madmen” can be so powerful. In my opinion, the fact that a statement or ideology is completely outside the sphere of acceptable discourse in our contemporary culture isn’t a reason to ignore or ridicule it at first glance, but rather, at the contrary, to investigate and figure out more about it, and then make the judgement accordingly based on a fair, intellectual assessment. Though it’s certainly understandable that many of Icke’s positions appear insane to many, I consider him to cast light on a lot of important issues facing society today, and where we appear to be headed. Question everything, and as Icke contends, “You don’t need to have a scientific mind to understand reality; you need an open one.”