David Vaughan Icke (born April 29, 1952) is an English writer and public speaker best known for his views on what he calls “who and what is really controlling the world.” Describing himself as the most controversial speaker in the world, he has written 18 books explaining his position, dubbed New Age–conspiracism, and has attracted a substantial following across the political spectrum. His 533-page The Biggest Secret (1999) has been called the conspiracy theorist’s Rosetta Stone.
Icke was a well-known BBC television sports presenter and spokesman for the Green Party, when he had an encounter in 1990 with a psychic who told him he was a healer placed on Earth for a purpose. In April 1991 he announced on the BBC’s Terry Wogan show that he was the son of God, and predicted that the world would soon be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes. The show changed his life, turning him practically overnight from a respected household name into an object of public ridicule.
He continued nevertheless to develop his ideas, and in four books published over seven years—The Robots’ Rebellion (1994), And the Truth Shall Set You Free (1995), The Biggest Secret (1999), and Children of the Matrix (2001)—set out a moral and political worldview that combines New-Age spiritualism with a passionate denunciation of what he sees as totalitarian trends in the modern world. At the heart of his theories lies the idea that a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood controls humanity, and that many prominent figures are reptilian, including George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.
Some of Icke’s theories have attracted the attention of the far right and the suspicion of Jewish groups. He has argued, for example, that the reptilians were the original authors of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a 1903 Russian forgery purporting to be a plan by the Jewish people to achieve world domination. Icke strongly denies there is anything antisemitic about this claim. He was allowed to enter Canada in 1999 only after persuading immigration officials that—as British journalist Jon Ronson put it—when he said lizards, he meant lizards, but his books were still removed from the shelves of Indigo Books, a Canadian chain, after protests from the Canadian Jewish Congress. Icke’s problems in Canada became the focus in 2001 of a documentary by Ronson, David Icke, the Lizards and the Jews
Icke argues that humanity was created, and is controlled, by a network of secret societies run by an ancient race of interbreeding bloodlines from the Middle and Near East, originally extraterrestrial. Icke calls them the “Babylonian Brotherhood.” The Illuminati, Round Table, Council on Foreign Relations, Chatham House, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the IMF, United Nations, the media, military, science, religion, and the Internet are all Brotherhood created and controlled. The Brotherhood is mostly male. Their children are raised from an early age to understand the mission; those who don’t are pushed aside. Key Brotherhood bloodlines are the British House of Windsor, the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, European royalty and aristocracy, and the Eastern establishment families of the United States. At the apex of the Brotherhood stands the “Global Elite,” identified throughout history as the Illuminati, and at the top of the Global Elite stand the “Prison Wardens.” The goal of the Brotherhood—their “Great Work of Ages,” or the “Brotherhood Agenda”—is world domination and a micro-chipped population.
In The Robot’s Rebellion (1994), Icke introduced the idea that the Global Elite’s plan for world domination was first laid out in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a hoax published in Russia in 1903, which supposedly presented a plan by the Jewish people to take over the world. The Protocols is the most influential piece of antisemitic material of modern times, portraying the Jewish people as cackling villains from a Saturday matinee, as Jon Ronson puts it, widely drawn on by the far right and neo-Nazi groups. Mark Honigsbaum writes that Icke refers to it 25 times in the book, calling it the “Illuminati protocols,” and it is the first of a number of examples of Icke moving dangerously close to antisemitism, according to Michael Barkun of Syracuse University.