David Vaughan Icke (born 29 April 1952) is an English writer and public speaker. A former footballer and sports broadcaster, Icke has made his name since the 1990s as a professional conspiracy theorist, calling himself a “full time investigator into who and what is really controlling the world.” He is the author of over 20 books and numerous DVDs, and has lectured in over 25 countries, speaking for up to 10 hours to audiences that cut across the political spectrum.
Icke was a BBC television sports presenter and spokesman for the Green Party, when a psychic told him, in 1990, that he had been placed on Earth for a purpose and would begin to receive messages from the spirit world. The following year he announced that he was a “Son of the Godhead”, and that the world would soon be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes, a prediction he repeated on the BBC’s primetime show Wogan. The show changed his life, turning him from a respected household name into someone who was laughed at whenever he appeared in public.
Over the next seven years—in The Robots’ Rebellion (1994), And the Truth Shall Set You Free (1995), The Biggest Secret (1999), and Children of the Matrix (2001)—he developed his worldview of New Age conspiracism. His endorsement of the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in The Robots’ Rebellion, combined with Holocaust denial in And the Truth Shall Set You Free, led his publisher to refuse to publish his books, which were self-published thereafter. At the heart of his theories lies the idea that many prominent figures belong to the Babylonian Brotherhood, a group of shapeshifting reptilian humanoids who are propelling humanity toward a global fascist state, or New World Order. The reptilians use the rings of Saturn and the Moon, all reptilian constructs, to broadcast our “five-sense prison”: an “artificial sense of self and the world” that humans perceive as reality.
Michael Barkun has described Icke’s position as New Age conspiracism, writing that Icke is the most fluent of the genre. Richard Kahn and Tyson Lewis argue that Icke’s reptilian hypothesis may be Swiftian satire, offering a narrative with which ordinary people can question what they see around them. Icke has been described as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist”; according to Political Research Associates, his politics are “a mishmash of most of the dominant themes of contemporary neofascism, mixed in with a smattering of topics culled from the U.S. militia movement.”
The middle child of three boys born seven years apart, Icke was born in Leicester General Hospital to Beric Vaughan Icke and Barbara J. Icke, née Cooke, who were married in Leicester in 1951. Beric had wanted to be a doctor, but the family had no money, so he joined the Royal Air Force as a medical orderly. He was awarded a British Empire Medal for gallantry in 1943 after an aircraft crashed into the Chipping Warden air base in Northamptonshire. Along with a squadron leader, Beric ran into the burning aircraft, without protective clothing, and saved the life of a crew member who was trapped inside.