(Swans - June 30, 2014) David Icke is arguably the world's best recognized conspiracy theorist, a phenomenon best illustrated by his 2012 sell-out gig at Wembley Arena. The author of too many twisting books, Icke is unrelenting in his obsession to bring the world to right. Popularizing fringe ideas is his spiritual vocation, and ever the populist, his back-catalogue is often-times clearly written (if nonsensical), while simultaneously dense and impenetrable. Familiarizing oneself with Icke's work, however, is made easier in some regards by Icke's penchant for repetition, with his latest revelations always being interwoven into rehashed accounts of his preceding work.
One can date the psychic turning point for Icke's life to March 1990, when this famed TV presenter became the enlightened recipient of a series of otherworldly communications. "One of them," Icke recalls, "said I would write five books in three years which would bring to people the truth about life and Creation." In his 1993 autobiography Icke boils this truth down to one opaque statement: "everything in Creation is the same energy." (1) Elaborating on this point, he observed that the only thing differentiating all matter is apparently the speed at which their energy vibrates. As Icke puts it:
"This energy is also what we call consciousness. All thought and all energy is one mind, one consciousness in different states of being. It is consciousness constantly experiencing through all life forms in Creation that I call the Infinite Mind." (p.5)
For the intellectual basis for these bizarre claims Icke approvingly refers to Ronald Pearson's self-published pamphlet Origin of Mind (1992). A text that, through the alchemy of monumental confusion, conveniently explained the same proposition that Icke stumbled upon through his "own psychic sources of information..." -- that is, that all modern physics was wrong! (2) Just by chance, Pearson had been a psychic since the age of 21 (in 1946), but only took to publishing and spreading his occult tales after being inspired by Rupert Sheldrake's Theosophical talk of "morphic resonance," and David Bohm's suggestion "that from quantum theory there must be some underlying unity in the universe." (For some background on theosophical nonsense, read "The Roots of Theosophy.")
Having no established celebrity profile -- in the academic world or otherwise -- it is hardly surprising that Pearson failed to locate a legitimate academic outlet for his paranormal physics, except that is (in 1997) through something called "Frontier Perspectives," the Journal of the Center for Frontier Sciences. This Center had been formed in 1987, explicitly to publish controversial work that could not be put into circulation elsewhere, i.e., because it could not follow scientific protocols. With such a mission, the Center for Frontier Sciences quickly became popular in fringe quarters, especially after they hosted a lecture series featuring world-class scientists and scholars such as Roger Penrose, David Bohm, Gerald Edelman, Bjorn Nordenstrom, and Karl Pribram. Importantly, in 1992 the Center published a book titled The Interrelationship Between Mind and Matter, which was edited by frontier biophysicist Dr. Beverly Rubik. Then a few years later, in 1996, with the personal support of Lawrence Rockefeller, the Center was re-launched as the Institute of Frontier Science and is presently committed to the study of UFOs. It is, of course, significant that Dr. Rubik is quite a mover-and-shaker within the alternative health movement, having served as a lead advisor to the organization that was the precursor group that led to the creation of the US-Government funded National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. At present Dr. Rubik is also a faculty member of a distant-learning venture known as the Energy Medicine University, a body formed to propagate the magical tales of Dr. Elmer Green's healing folklore and the related nonsense of his International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine.
Compared to his spiritual coworkers, like Ronald Pearson and Dr. Rubik, Icke has always been able to cash in on his celebrity profile, and as such has been very effective at spreading his version of the truth around the world. Hence his decision to rely upon work that rejects rational thinking is perplexing to say the least: science as Icke puts it is but a lie. Instead it is in the residual detritus that the scientific community has rejected that Icke draws upon to enlighten his readers with his own special brand of the truth. Thus following Icke's initial reference to Pearson, the next text to which Icke cited in his 1993 autobiography was David Ash and Peter Hewitt's book Science of the Gods: Reconciling Mystery and Matter (Gateway, 1990), a text that Icke says helps explain the concept of vortices and their role in holding energy together, a phenomenon apparently consistent with the seven chakras of the human body.(3)
Like Pearson's pamphlet, Ash's book is full to the brim with esoteric garbage, befitting for a man who had been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. As Ash tells it, from the age of four he knew that his goal in life would be to prove the existence of God through science, his introduction to "science" coming at the tender age of six when he went dowsing for uranium on Bodmin Moor aboard his fathers Rolls Royce. Luckily for Ash he never actually needed paid work, and he proudly boasts of not having a career -- unlike Icke who was born on a housing estate -- as he "wasn't going to prostitute knowledge to make money." Instead, in keeping with his aristocratic background he felt obsessed to expand his mind and "develop a new world-view, a new theory for everything." Being born to a family of ruling-class mystics facilitated this process. But the early promotion of his ideas by leading New Age guru Sir George Trevelyan, since 1985 onwards, must have helped as well. (4) In stunning contrast to many of the stars of the New Age, David Icke was born to a Tory-hating working-class family, and like most of us, always had to work to earn his living. In fact Icke wasn't even rewarded with any qualifications from his short years in the British education system, as he left school at the age of fifteen to become a professional football player. But this budding sporting career was to be short-lived because at the age of 19, plagued by injuries, he was forced to retire from the game he loved. Working hard to make the best of a bad job, Icke then soldiered on to become a sports journalist, eventually rising to national fame as the presenter for Grandstand -- Britain's premier sports program on television for the BBC.
Later, coinciding with his spiritual awakening in 1988, Icke went on to become a national spokesperson for the Green Party. Yet in stark contrast to David Ash, Icke's initial exposure to fringe beliefs were forced upon him as a result of his desperate efforts to find a cure for his persistent injuries and arthritis threatening to destroy his livelihood during his footballing days. Thus Icke recalls how, at his wits end, he had visited an acupuncture clinic, whose treatment provided effective for easing his arthritis and "miraculous" for his hip injury. As he recalled: "I hobbled into the clinic and walked out an hour later." But in a clear display of the problems of seriously injured people relying upon placebo therapy, it is evident that his therapy was not quite as miraculous as he first thought it was. This is because despite treatment his "arthritis was getting worse" and he spent most of the football season in pain; such agonizing pain that at the start of the following season (in 1973) Icke was informed that he could never play football again, and more to the point, if he tried he would cripple himself. (5) Not even Icke was stupid enough to go for another cure-all acupuncture session, even if he did still consider its effects miraculous.
Moving to the late 1980s, it wasn't too long after becoming a Green Party spokesperson that Icke was asked if he would write a volume about green politics, which led to the publication of an informative book that was published in February 1990 as It Doesn't Have To Be Like This: Green Politics Explained (Green Print, 1990). This period in history, for Icke and for all British environmentalists, turned out to be a tumultuous time, as it was during Icke's initial years near the top of the Green Party that environmental issues briefly exploded onto the political scene. This boost was great for green politics but the same was not necessarily true for Icke's political education, as in the aftermath of this brief ecological surge, green issues quickly faded from normal politics, which Icke found "very dispiriting" (as thousands of others also must have felt). (6) In many ways this despondency probably played a large role in diverting Icke away from material politics and into the spiritual realm: although his activity within the Green Party no doubt had its influence as well, with the Party being a fertile incubating ground for all manner of eco-spiritualism (like Anthroposophy, for instance).
With his mind now turning away from the physical realm, on 29 March 1990 Icke paid his first of many visits to a medium and healer called Betty Shine; that is, after avidly reading her best-selling book Mind to Mind: The Secrets of Your Mind Energy Revealed (Bantam Press, 1989). Considering Icke's later obsession with exposing the reptilian shape-shifting paedophilia of the Royal family, it is ironic that the well-connected individual "who first encouraged Mrs Shine to write her 'mind' trilogy and [whom] introduced her to his publisher" was the Eaton-educated British comic Michael Bentine, who happened to count Prince Charles among his closest friends. Either way, Icke's interest in the psychic world was growing apace and he now went on consume the many books of (un)predictions belonging to the famed mystic Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) -- a man who liked to make predictions of the devastating geological events that would take place in the last decade of the century. Perhaps Betty Shine had been likewise inspired by Cayce's writings (it was perhaps hard for her not to have been) when she chose to channel messages to Icke that warned him of impending earthquakes. But as far as Icke was concerned, the clairvoyant work of Cayce, and other psychics like Nostradamus and Shine, were specifically undertaken to help pave the way for the coming new age, in much the same way that Icke believed that crop circles arose as a result of the Earth Spirits efforts to communicate with humanity. (7)
Icke, within the context of his autobiography, then introduces another psychic whom upon personal consultation confirmed Shine's basic information about the truth of the universe, although in this instance he doesn't give a name to his psychic messenger. Next he then visited Judy Hall, who specialised in examining past lives through reaching into the Akashic Record, and she too confirmed what he had already heard from the others. Here it is intriguing to note that Hall's primary metaphysical mentor was a woman named Christine Hartley, who had played a leading role in the Society of the Inner Light, acting as a coworker and literary agent for the Society's occult founder Dion Fortune (1890-1946). One particularly well-known initiate of the Society of Inner Light is the late Kathleen Raine (1908-2003), the Jungian poet who went on to found a new "school of wisdom" known as the Temenos Academy of Integral Studies. This connection again brings us back to Prince Charles who provided Raine with vital support though his acting as a patron of her Temenos Academy. But returning to Icke's life, in the ensuing weeks after meeting Hall his life soon became entwined with the wonders of ley lines, which he explained work to carry the energy (or life-force of Creation) across the Earth. On this score Icke defers to the wisdom of Alfred Watkins (1855-1935), whose classic work on this subject was published in 1925 as The Old Straight Track. Icke's humble reason for existence upon planet Earth was now to help restore the energy system of these ley lines to prevent the death of the Earth no less, and to stop the universe from "suffer[ing] a catastrophe..." (8)
Not long later on his ever-deepening journey, Icke was put in contact with a mystery woman, whom he refers to as "the source" but whom in later work he identifies as Yeva -- whose channelled message declared that he should begin to work closely with a psychic called Deborah Shaw (his soon-to-be lover). To add to this milieu of mystical confusion, when he then returned to Betty Shine she received a message that he would soon be working with a famous mystic called Paul Brunton (1898-1981) and that she had a book (she was unaware of) on her bookcase to give to Icke. As Icke tells it, the presence of this book was a mystery to Shine who swore she did not own any of Brunton's work, so when she went to check her books in the next room after channelling the message she happened to find The Quest, volume two, the notebooks of Paul Brunton. (9) For those new to the convoluted world of esotericism, Brunton is famous for having popularised the teachings of Ramana Maharishi (in the West, anyway) through his two books A Search in Secret India (1934) and The Secret Path (1935). Credit for such activism being influenced somewhat by his prior membership of the Theosophical Society.
With Paul Brunton's book in hand, it was only now that Icke's far-out adventures would truly begin, which initially meant he was sent on many travels around England and Wales "clearing energy blockages" and "charging up energy centres..." On these trips he was accompanied by all manner of other proficient mystics, with whom he dowsed his way across the countryside in search of special stones, or taking time out to commune with Devas in the woodlands. One of his many gifted companions on these spiritual quests was a women named Joan, who channelled messaged to Icke from the Ascended Master, Rakorczy -- a spiritual presence who soul's previous apparent incarnations on Earth have included his being a High Priest in Atlantis, Joseph (the father of Jesus), and more recently Count Saint-Germain of France and Francis Bacon. Another incarnation of Rakorczy not mentioned by Icke is the Findhorn Foundation's very own R. Ogilvie Crombie. It is worth adding that Rakorczy is widely considered by the spiritually inclined to be "a sponsor, if not the actual source, of the Rosicrucian Society, and generally the primary overseer of the Western magical and esoteric tradition." (10)
As mentioned earlier, messages from the ether world confirmed to Icke that crop circles were merely the Earth's attempt to communicate with mankind. He was also reliably informed that modern medicine and surgery was old-hat, and that with regards healing, "Only the use of hands, colour, crystals, and waters would be necessary before the century's end." Icke opined that the future of energy field medicine was only just beginning to emerge, a future that he considered best illustrated by Richard Gerber's Vibrational Medicine: New Choices for Healing Ourselves (Bear & Company, 1988). (11) Although not widely known, this book is a classic within the field of alternative medicine (i.e., not medicine), and the third edition -- which was published in 2001 -- was glowingly endorsed by the master of nice-sounding nonsense, Dr. Larry Dossey, and included a foreword by William A. Tiller, a professor emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University who featured in the controversial 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!? This being a mystical film that was produced unbeknownst to most viewers by the students of JZ Knight and the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment.
Although channelled messages are not especially accessible to those not in their receipt, Icke bolstered his knowledge of the unknown (including Earth's prehistory) by drawing upon the teachings of a spirit Master known as Helio-Arcanophus (H-A). Luckily for Icke, H-A's messages had already been transcribed into various books, two of which Icke "strongly recommend[s]"... The Guide Book: A Channelled Teaching of Our Time (1986) and The Way To God. (12) Here one should recognize that the human credited with being the source for the teachings presented in The Guide Book is Tony Neate, a special individual who has been a channeller of H-A for over 50 years. It turns out that by the time Icke had first come upon Neate's messages, Neate had already done much to institutionalise New Age nonsense in Britain, with his first major endeavour being dated to 1957, when working with Wicca priestess Murry Hope (1929-2012) he had co-founded a healing and spiritual group known as the Atlanteans Society. This was followed by a brief spell of running a health food business, and then in 1979 Neate founded what is today known as the Nature's Own/Cytoplan group of companies -- a profitable outlet at the forefront of nutritional-supplementation-industrial-complex. This supplement business was launched at the instigation of Neate's good friend Dr. Alex Forbes, who needed a ready supply of nutritional supplements for his cancer patients at the famous Bristol Cancer Help Center (now called Penny Brohn Cancer Care), which he had helped set up in 1980.
With Neate's keen interest in magic it should come as little surprise that he was a keen anthroposophist and, in the early 1980s he was able to use his occult contacts to help launch the College of Healing and the Confederation of Healing Organisations. By 1986 Neate was even recruited by fellow Steinerite Sir George Trevelyn to act as his replacement as the chairman of the mystical Wrekin Trust. This history, of course, puts Icke in "good" spiritual company as the late Sir Trevelyn was likewise inspired by H-A, with Sir Trevelyn observing in the manner befitting his alleged commitment to non-sectarian spirituality how: "H-A gives guidance, advice and teaching, but it is notable that he never enforces his opinion and always encourages each person to make their own decisions. It is a really creative process of education." (13)
Accompanied by John -- yet another of Icke's many psychically-charged dowsing friends -- Icke later visited Tony Neate who proceeded to channel Magnu, a "spiritual brother" of H-A (from during their time together in Atlantis together) who allegedly confirmed Icke's role in acting as a Light Worker to protect and strengthen the energy levels of the planet. After seven months of "intensive spiritual education and guidance" from such helpful idiots Icke is frank in acknowledging that "there is an enormous amount that I still do not know." He conceded that as his learning process continues he will have to modify aspects of the essential truths he has revealed (as documented in his books), but all the same he says that "the idea is for the readers to grow with me as my knowledge and understanding is increased..." (14) This goes a long way towards explaining why his books keep getting longer and more convoluted. On a hopeful note, Icke concludes that there is much to look forward to if humanity allows itself to follow the guidance of the Ascended Masters. And while Icke admits that the fruition of the forthcoming Aquarian Age "won't be in its prime until at least the year 2500," he does give a glimpse of the future he has seen. Therein we will...
"...be able to manifest and de-manifest matter through sound. We will be able to levitate. Will will use telepathy as we now use the telephone. There will be communication with the animals, Devas and extra-terrestrials. Healing will be by natural methods and we will have no need for surgery. ... The list goes on and on, and all of it can be ours." (pp.141-2)
There is clearly much to look forward to: "A world beyond our dreams awaits us after the turmoil of transition is over and the glorious truths are known and accepted by everyone." We can be sure of this because even after the seven months of intense guidance that Icke underwent during the writing of The Truth Vibrations, he says that in the intervening time between when that text was published and his next book, which came out in 1992, he had "communicated almost daily with Rakorski, the one known as Lord of all Civilization, who is directly responsible for the changes the Earth will undergo." Thus he predicts that in the coming years we will all need to rediscover the ancient wisdom that was well known to "so-called 'primitive caveman'" who (he states with conviction) communicated by telepathy and were well aware of the importance of the energy system and so "channelled positive energies to the Earth Spirit." (15)
Enjoying his new spiritual life on the road, Icke recalls how just prior to speaking at an Animal Rights Conference in the United States he paid a visit to Canada with the aforementioned Deborah Shaw, where they continued their dowsing adventures in the wild. Deborah then proceeded to unblock Icke's psychic skills, bringing him into spiritual communion with Indian spirits. This makes some "sense," as before departing England for Canada Deborah had been getting psychic visions about her past life as a member of the Blackfoot Tribe -- a tribe which just so happened to live just a short drive from her home in Calgary. During these pendulum-led excursions Icke coincidentally determined that he too had been a member of the Blackfoot Tribe in a past life. But soon unforeseen misfortune hit the happy couple when Deborah encountered immigration issues with the Canadian authorities, apparently because her official day-job had ended, and as such Icke suddenly received a message that she should return with him to England and channel information for his next book, which would be Love Changes Everything (Aquarian Press, 1992). (16) It was not long after this moment that Icke, dressed in a turquoise tracksuit, announced on prime-time British television that he was the Son of the Godhead. Unsurprisingly this revelation quickly made him the subject of national ridicule.
Around this time of tragi-comedy, further channelled messages directed Icke to continue his "work with the Earth's energy system." By this he meant mending the Earth's etheric energy field (otherwise known as Mother Nature or Gaia). "It is the self-balancing intelligence," Icke points out, "which weaves the glorious web of birth, rebirth and restoration that we see all around us." His spiritual companion Joan, the individual who had worked with Icke to channel the information contained in The Truth Vibrations, then re-established contact with Icke and helped him double-check the occult knowledge channelled for Love Changes Everything. Icke's one-time companion Deborah, seven months pregnant with his child, then left Icke for good, and Icke dates this unforeseen moment to a new time of spiritual clarity in his life. (17)
This of course was just the beginning the Icke's well-publicised journey into the hazy world of occult mysteries. Nevertheless, what becomes clear from his life, as told so far, is that Icke was not alone in his nonsensical obsessions, as the theories expounded for a broad audience in his books were all heavily derivative from the earlier published work of well-networked mystics and mediums of whose world Icke was now a firm part. In subsequent parts of my ongoing examination of the roots of Icke's life it will become evident that his popularising of occult garbage and his outright rejection of socialist politics has seen a happy co-joining of his thoughts with many of the anti-democratic and elitist theories of social change that he so vehemently thinks he is railing against.
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2. Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.6. Icke refers to Pearson as a pioneer of true physics, and his pamphlet Origin of Mind was simply a "popularisation" of his more detailed monument to confusion, Intelligence Behind the Universe! (1990). Pearson's later "journal" article was "Consciousness as a Sub-Quantum Phenomenon," Spring/Summer 1997. (back)
3. Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.10, p.12. According to Icke, the etheric energy field emanating from everything can be measured by Kirlian photography. (p.14) Later Icke refers to "an excellent channeller and healer called Geoff Bottwood," whose work apparently adds further flesh on the bones of the ideas of vortices and streams of infinite energy. (p.286) Bottwood, who now goes by the name Tareth, seems to be connected to think he is connected to The Source (which the eternal consciousness that is at the root of all things and within all things) and is the author The Messenger: The Journey of a Spiritual Healer (Piatkus Books, 1994). (back)
4. With the self-righteous confidence so often associated with the super-rich, when Ash junior, at the age of sixteen, had read just one book on the issue of Yoga he became convinced that ancient Yogi's had long used their consciousness to look into subatomic atoms and had thereby "anticipated Einstein by thousands of years..." Ash's most recent book The New Physics of Consciousness: Reconciling Science and Spirituality (Kima Global Publishers, 2007). The biographical blurb for Ash's most recent book notes that "Since 1985 under the direction of Sir George Trevelyan, [Ash] has travelled the world integrating science and spirit with the vortex physics." Ash, The New Physics of Consciousness, p.249. (back)
7. Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.145, p.148. Icke, Love Changes Everything, p.132, p.136. During this awakening chapter of his life Icke was apparently led by mystical forces to read many books on reincarnation and karma, combined with more earthly spiritual material like Matthew Fox's Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality (Bear & Company, 1983). Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.151; Icke, The Truth Vibrations, p.23. (back)
8. Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.153, p.154; Icke, The Truth Vibrations, p.36, p.38, p.39, p.45. Icke tells us that the etheric balance is negatively influenced by electro-magnetism, which in humans can result in cancer. (p.58) (back)
10. Icke, The Truth Vibrations, p.63, p.65, p.74. Rakoczy linked to Alice Bailey. Bailey also outlined the same seven ray theory in exactly the same terms as Bailey. Also see Gordon Lindsay The Occult Diaries of R. Ogilvie Crombie (Lorian Press, 2011), p.74. (back)
13. Dr David Smallbone was one of the cofounders of the College of Healing, and he is a man who can boast stellar homeopathic credentials, having trained under the direction of the Faculty of Homoeopathy and Dr. Margery Blackie in the early 1960s. (back)