Is the world secretly run by 12-foot-tall shapeshifting lizards?
It's a surprisingly complex issue -- or at least it has been since David Icke first announced his theory on prime-time TV back in 1991.
That's not really because more than a minority consider Icke to be right, however. It's mainly down to the ongoing debate (reported on brilliantly by Jon Ronson about a decade ago) about whether Icke's use of "reptile" is a codeword, or whether he really does mean "reptile".
Either way, despite the outlandish nature of the claim, it appears its still proving a headache for those in power. One way or anouther.
For a time yesterday it appeared that someone in the US Congress was upset enough by the theory it to go into Wikipedia and make a few key edits to that effect. A Twitter account designed to automatically note any edits to Wikipedia made by an IP address inside congress picked up an attempt to change the record on the topic.
Reptilians Wikipedia article edited anonymously from US House of Representatives http://t.co/B7VLkhLsb8— congress-edits (@congressedits) July 23, 2014
This is the passage with the addition underlined:
"The idea of reptilians on Earth was popularized by David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who says shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies. Icke has claimed on multiple occasions that many of the world leaders are, or are possessed by, reptilians ruling the world. These allegations are completely unsubstantiated and have no basis in reality."
Alas, this edit itself is not quite what it appears. It turns out to be the result of a bet made by enterprising and charitable nerds:
— John Resig (@jeresig) July 23, 2014
Resig's request was swiftly picked up and his donation was then made -- to the Wikipedia Foundation, of course.
"Your donation to Wikimedia Foundation, Inc for $20.00 is complete." https://t.co/59KN3IVeR8 I'm so, so, happy. Someone just made my week!— John Resig (@jeresig) July 23, 2014
So what's the lesson? Well, the world isn't run by reptiles at all -- it's actually run by geeks and their obedient hacker/US Congress official servants. But then we already knew that.