David Icke famously said after he first spoke out nearly 25 years ago out he couldn't fill a phone box. This weekend he spoke to a sold out Wembley Arena for nine hours. Which begs the question, what went right?
Let's get that 'R' word out of the way first, shall we? Any discussion on Icke will inevitably prompt those reptilians to rear their scaly heads. That's understandable and a reason he's been a ridicule magnet for so many years. I am not going to defend every intricacy of every claim Icke makes. That would take forever. Moreover, get to the heart of why, much to the chagrin and derision of many, he only continues to rise in popularity.
In 1991, post-Wogangate, Icke was laughed out of town but rather than sink in sea of humiliation and shame the former sports journalist got back on his horse. For those whose knowledge of him begins and ends at 'shapeshifting lizards' he has spent the last three decades as a full time researcher travelling to and speaking in over 55 countries. To date he's published 14 books. He calls himself a 'dot connector' and seeks to get to the underbelly of what makes our world tick behind the big curtain.
So. In terms of his increasing audience and outreach, is he just a very canny snake (or reptile?) oil salesman whose bizarre offerings naive, crazy people willingly lap up? Or does - perish the thought - Mr Icke actually talk, you know, some sense about things and people are recognising that?
It seems the latter could very well be the case given much of what Icke has talked about for years continues to manifest as truth; he predicted the financial crash of 2008, the increase of natural disasters after the millennium and has been saying for years that Jimmy Savile was a predatory paedophile. Yet, of course, endured endless flack for it. Icke is being proven right again and again so maybe it's no wonder his audience only continues to grow.
One only has to throw a cursory glance around at society - governments lie, our media illegally hack into phones; establishment corruption is rife. As a global populace we are rightly becoming more jaded and disenfranchised with those who supposedly serve us and from whom we seek information about the wider world. Corporate media is plummeting and independent media flourishing. Given the increase of personal epiphanies and snowballing distrust of reining authority, that Icke's work (and the work of many of his researcher peers) resonates with so many is no surprise.
I was one of the many who scoffed and laughed at David Icke's early theories. Daft man. Wacky ideas. Consign him to the loony bin.
Then I began to investigate his recent work. Then investigated what his work investigates. Radical it seems at first, but the further down the rabbit hole you go, the quicker your overcome your cognitive dissonance, the more you independently study what Icke picks apart and analyses (the economy, religion, politics, human history) you realise that, bloody hell, perhaps this man could have a point. Many, in fact.
Is he eccentric? No doubt. Is he right about everything? Possibly not, however Saturday's Wembley Arena event was a serious indicator that after decades of being a soft target and the butt of endless jokes, his research and ideas are being taken seriously and for one 'nut job, deluded conspiracy theorist' that's a lot of people to have hoodwinked.
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