Swans Commentary » swans.com July 14, 2014  



David Icke And The Liberty Of Psychics


by Michael Barker



David Icke, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way: Green Politics Explained (Green Print, 1990)

David Icke, The Truth Vibrations (Aquarian Press, 1991)

David Icke, In the Light of Experience (Warner Books, 1993)

David Icke, Heal the World: A Do-It Yourself Guide to Human and Planetary Transformation (Gateway Books, 1993)


(Swans - July 14, 2014)   The now globally infamous conspiracy theorist David Icke first embarked upon the spiritual dimension of his career while serving (between 1989 and 1991) as one of four principal speakers for the Green Party UK. During Icke's limited time within the Green's he developed something of an antipathy towards politics, and a special displeasure for organized political groupings. Icke even went so far as to say that organizations on the far left that call themselves anti-capitalist are actually "supporters of the system in the same way as anyone else." He is able to say this because he was (and still is) convinced that capitalism is not "the system." Instead, within his autobiography In the Light of Experience (Warner Books, 1993) Icke warns...

"Take, make and throw away, growth and mind control -- that's the system. And in that respect socialism, communism, capitalism are the same. They all believe we must continually increase the rate of production and so, by definition, consumption. They all believe, staggering as it may seem, that somehow having millions of people spending their lives standing beside factory machines or in the dust and darkness of a coal mine is economic success and social justice." (p.123)

Icke adds, the "most frightening aspect of all this is that no-one controls this system -- it controls us." This misconception is common parlance amongst many middle-class environmentalists. Yet for Icke it wasn't always this way, and in his first book, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way: Green Politics Explained (Green Print, 1990) -- Icke's informative and easy-to-read ode to green politics, his definition of "the system" is only a hair's breath away from capitalism. "By the system," Icke explains, "I mean a form of economic thinking that sees the profit figure at the bottom of the balance sheet every year as the only measurement of success." (1) Although he is blissfully unaware of it, it is exactly such a profit-driven system that is opposed by Marxists -- an understandable oversight given his shallow knowledge of socialism and of the nature of working-class struggle more generally.

Recognizing that it is the system that both controls and inhibits the development of democracy worldwide, Icke -- at least during the writing of his initial book -- is well aware of the systematic abuse of power by capitalist elites: like for example, the historical wars that has been waged against poorer countries by British and American intelligence agencies; wars that have consistently worked to bring neo-fascist elites to power to maintain their economic domination over the Third World. On this point Icke cites the stellar work of Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, who document such vile anti-democratic activities in The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (South End Press, 1979). But as Icke -- at the time of writing -- was confined by the decidedly non-revolutionary ideology of the Green Party, his only proposal for restraining such unaccountable corporate power was through enacting capitalist forms of regulation (utilizing such bodies as the United Nations Centre on Trans-National Corporations). (2) But in and of itself, asking capitalists to restrain their commitment to exploitation (and never-ending growth) is a fairly futile strategy, especially if unconnected to any efforts to build popular mass movements. This is because ultimately it will be through the organized actions of the working class, acting decisively to withhold their labour power from capitalist bosses -- through such actions as General Strikes -- that society may be democratized in the interests of the millions, not the millionaires. There is a world of difference, however, between building a democratic socialist movement opposed to "the system," and simply telling people what is wrong with capitalism and then preaching spiritualism as some form of illusionary cure-all.

Of course, under an economic and political system that puts profit before human needs, it is unsurprising that the running of the world is chaotic and nonsensical. So in this respect, the British National Health Service (NHS), despite providing the residents of Britain with one of the most cost-effective and best-loved medical services in the world still has its faults, which are largely derived from the fact that it was created (with much reluctance) within the extremely limiting confines of capitalism. Icke, in one of his rare moments of clarity, correctly observes: "Britain's national health policy is like the policeman who was so busy trying to pull people of the river that he didn't have the time to go upstream and arrest the guy who was pushing them in." (3) But rather than imagine what a healthcare system might look like without capitalism, Icke makes the mistake of so many would-be rebels when he rejects the science undergirding capitalist healthcare, but not of the profit-system itself. In Icke's eyes the scientific method and the medical establishment are thus seen as one of the major causes of all our problems. By taking such a politically-uninformed stand, Icke falls into the arms of libertarian conspiracy theorists who delight in providing the ideological fodder for the so-called health freedom movement.

Unfortunately, the work of Dr. Vernon Coleman, a doctor whose book-length attack on the medical establishment, The Health Scandal: Your Health in Crisis (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1988), is the only source quoted in It Doesn't Have To Be This Way to defend Icke's belief that modern medicine is making people sicker, not healthier. (4) Previous texts published by the prolific Dr. Coleman happen to include such gems as Mindpower (1986) and Dr Vernon Coleman's Guide To Alternative Medicine (1988). Since writing these popular books, however, this high-profile doctor has propagated just about every conspiracy theory that exists, be they about the healing power of vitamins, the dangers of vaccinations, or that the European Union is "Hitler's dream come true." Little wonder that in 2006 Dr. Coleman gave a rallying speech to UKIP's annual conference titled "Proof that the European Union is Hitler's Dream Come True (and that we are living in the world we would inhabit if we'd lost World War II)" wherein he concluded:

"The Blairs, Browns, Camerons and so on are a foul cancer that we have to keep out of office. This is no longer about politics. It's about our identity, and our future. We're fighting the most important war we've ever had to fight -- against the most corrupt and dangerous enemy we've ever faced. Our job is to alert anyone who doesn't realise that yet. Because time is running out. The mass media won't help but if everyone here tells the truth to one person a week -- give or lend them a book or leaflet to read -- and each of those people tells the truth to another person then in just a few months we will reach every man, woman and child in Britain. Talking to people -- is our greatest weapon.

"We must persuade people never ever to vote for one of the big political parties again. That way we can throw out the fascists and claim our country back. Because it is our country. It doesn't belong to the fascist bastards who are trying to steal it. Let's take our country back."

Returning to Icke's oeuvre, while in his 1990 book he demands the need for the independent testing of alternative medicine but holds off from attacking mainstream medicine too much, in his later work Icke vocally broadcasts his hatred of the medical establishment and their toxic vaccinations. Moreover, by 1991 he concludes that deaths that have not been explained by medical science -- here Icke mentions cot deaths -- should simply be thought of as being due to bad karma. One of the closing chapters of It Doesn't Have To Be This Way outlines how humanity might remedy such karmic problem by connecting with the planet and engaging in activities that can satisfy our soul's inner emotional needs. Here Icke believes we have much to learn from indigenous cultures who "know more than we will ever know about the Earth and the spiritual and emotional links we have with all creation." Finally, demonstrating his early willingness to go one step beyond science, Icke reminds us that if cows can rely upon instinct to locate their calves over a distance of miles, "then just think of the true potential of human instinct, the human mind, if only we would recognise the possibility." (5)

In Icke's first truly otherworldly text, The Truth Vibrations (Aquarian Press, 1991) -- a book which he proudly acknowledges is based entirely on information passed to him through psychic communications -- Icke states that the earth began moving onto the next stage of "her" evolution in the mid-1960s, a phenomenon that he predicts will accelerate throughout the '90s and beyond. His readers must simply take his word for this "fact." But all the same, in a bid to stamp his statement with some form of authority Icke reminds his followers that "these truths have been given to me by some of the most evolved beings in this solar system." Here he is referring to the Ascended Masters with whom he had already regularly chatted with upon his numerous visits to the spiritual realm. This communication with more sophisticated political masters than evidently existing within even the upper echelons of the Green Party probably explains his decision to resign from the Greens in early 1991. Yet despite Icke's distancing himself from his former environmental companions, in September 1992 he was still invited to give a talk to a packed fringe meeting at the Green Party's annual conference. (6)

All too often, spiritual "enlightenment" appears to coincide with poor mental health, and around this time Icke say he became depressed, that is, just prior to his visit to Jerusalem in January 1993. But thankfully at the end of day Icke recalls that his sad feelings were overcome when he received his latest in a series of parcels from his mortal friend Michael Roll -- a prolific spiritualist (now with an active internet presence). Roll presently runs the Campaign for Philosophical Freedom out of his home in Bristol, which "present[s] the censored secular scientific case for survival after death." Having been in communication with Roll for about a year, Roll's latest happiness-inducing package included a booklet first self-published by the spiritualist in question in 1983 under the title "The Suppression of Knowledge," whose historical documentation, in Icke's mind, dealt a devastating blow to organized religion. (7) To not put too fine a point on it, this piece is an incoherent rehash of the work of the psychic "historian" Arthur Findlay (1883-1964), who channelled the two-volume classic The Curse of Ignorance: A History of Mankind (Psychic Press, 1947), which Icke described as a "superb book." With this inspiration, it is now in Icke's life that he decided to identify organized religion as the primary problem that stands in opposition to the development of a true spirituality -- with Icke bluntly comparing the Christian Church to the Nazis. (8)

With such mind-breaking developments, by 1993 Icke's psychic powers had been suitably fine-tuned, with his discussion of "the system" now being devoid of all political and economic analysis: the system now being controlled by the collective thought patterns of humanity. All modern ideologies are considered by Icke to be dead-ends in challenging such thought patterns: "'Isms' are prisons of the mind, be they Roman Catholicism, Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, Spiritualism, or whatever." Icke sees such ideas and their associated organizations as too limited to encompass the rapidly-evolving planetary consciousness that will need to develop to save the Earth. Consequently, he preaches that we must all think for ourselves! "Life on earth is all about self-responsibility, and much as we may try there is no avoiding that if you wish to evolve." To know what needs to be done, Icke argues, it is essential that we reconnect with the One Consciousness by "going within" or sitting quietly "to let our minds and thoughts go wherever they wish"; adding this pearl of wisdom, that if forced to "make a choice between what you think and feel, follow what you feel every time." Contradictorily, Icke preaches that one should follow one's instinct or intuition, yet simultaneously, he still believes that working in groups with like-minded people is "very advisable." So while he suggests that some people might want to form their own group(s), he concludes Heal the World: A Do-It Yourself Guide to Human and Planetary Transformation (Gateway Books, 1993) by listing five groups that might be of help to peace-seekers: these being Fountain International, the College of Psychic Studies, the National Federation of Spiritual Healers, Greenpeace UK, and Friends of the Earth. (9)

The latter two environmental groups mentioned at the end of Heal of World are fairly well known for their consistent advocacy of capitalist non-solutions to the world's very serious ecological problems. Thus it is significant that at the time of Icke's endorsement of their activities, Greenpeace UK was headed by the Eton-educated Peter Melchett, who in later years went on to become the policy director for the mystically-rooted Soil Association. While the British branch of Friends of the Earth has always been notable for its conservatism and hierarchical nature (seen in relation to its international associate branches), moreover in 1993 its management had just been handed over to the anthroposophist financier Charles Secrett. With regard Icke's approval of the National Federation of Spiritual Healers and the College of Psychic Studies, their names speak clearly for the occult nature of their activism, with the latter college being closely linked to the careers of many of the individuals who actively influenced Icke's spiritual development -- like for instance Tony Neate, Judy Hall, and David Ash. Finally, Icke's boosting of the work of Fountain International draws attention to a group of dowsers whose names remain unmentioned in his books to date, with the best known text associated with Fountain International's membership perhaps being Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst's The Sun and the Serpent: An Investigation into Earth Energies (Pendragon Press, 1989). In this book the intrepid dowsing-duo document their attempts to follow the Great Dragon Ley Line that the Eton-educated John Michell (1933-2009) first identified in his New Age classic The View over Atlantis: The Essential Guide to Megalithic Science, Earth Mysteries, and Sacred Geometry (Sago Press, 1969).

Either way, despite Icke's clear recommendations, individual liberty to do what one wants is paramount, so he advises that one should remain sceptical of all groups and individuals, even channellers. Icke counsels readers that in addition to listening their own feelings they should endeavour to compare the validity of channelled messages (as he insists he does) by visiting numerous channellers, and then, and only then, accepting the common themes that emerge from their messages. One of Icke's most trusted channellers in this regard is his "great friend" Yeva (whom he mentions by name for the first time in 1993). Another important spiritualist with whom Icke holds in awe is the ubiquitous Sir George Trevelyan, whom Icke lists in the dedication of his next book, The Robots' Rebellion: The Story of the Spiritual Renaissance (Gateway Books, 1994). Icke lists Sir Trevelyan in the company of Socrates and Arthur Findlay as being amongst those individuals who have "sought to challenge the suppression of knowledge and the indoctrination of the human race." (10) How good to know that Icke says he is looking after the best interests of humanity and not just the book sales of his rich spiritualist gurus!


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1.  Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.123; Icke, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way, p.15.  (back)

2.  Icke, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way, p.73, p.80.  (back)

3.  Icke, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way, p.174.  (back)

4.  Icke, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way, p.176.  (back)

5.  Icke, It Doesn't Have To Be This Way, p.183, p.201, p.198. (By 1991... Icke, The Truth Vibrations, p.26.)  (back)

6.  Icke, The Truth Vibrations, p.9, p.10; Icke, In the Light of Experience, pp.243-4. With his ideas well-received by the more spiritually-inclined section of the Green Party, Jon Carpenter agreed to publish a book based upon his conference speech under the title Days of Decision (Jon Carpenter Publishing, 1994).  (back)

7.  Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.256, p.257. Roll still believes that the work of Ronald Pearson provides the mathematical proof for the early scientific spiritual experiments undertaken by the likes of Sir Oliver Lodge who had proposed the idea of there being an ether in which the spirit world existed (as outlined in his 1925 book Ether and Reality). Such theories of life after death were eventually confined to the dustbin of history with the aid of nonspiritual scientists like Albert Einstein, which Roll identifies as the chief competing theorist with Pearson's mysticisms; which leads Roll to conclude that of the two theories "one of them has to go, and thankfully it's Einstein's theory of relativity." (Watch "The Scientific and Rationalist Case for Life After Death -- 1: An Interview with Michael Roll.")

One of Michael Roll's mystic heroes, whose work is featured on his web site, is Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), a once influential scientist who succumbed to spiritual beliefs in the late 1860s, around the time of the tragic death of his brother. During the 1890s Crookes served as the president of the Society for Psychical Research, then joined the Theosophical Society, and later acted as the president of the Ghost Club from 1907 until 1912. William Hodson Brock, William Crookes (1832-1919) and the Commercialization of Science (Ashgate, 2008), p.199, p.440. Also see Trevor Hall, The Spiritualists: The Story of Florence Cook and William Crookes (Helix Press, 1963).  (back)

8.  Icke, In the Light of Experience, p.259; Icke, The Robots' Rebellion, p.78. Icke points out that a "superb expose of the hypocrisy and deceit upon which Christianity was built" is Peter Da Rosa's The Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy (Bantam Press, 1988). (p.82)

The Arthur Findlay College in Essex describes itself as the "Worlds foremost College for the Advancement of Spiritualism and Psychic Sciences" and boasts of having "over 50 approved tutors and alongside them, many specialist and guest tutors who all bring you the highest standards of tuition across many disciplines."  (back)

9.  Icke, Heal the World, p.30, p.32, p.36, p.64, p.65, p.67, p.111.  (back)

10.  Icke, Heal the World, p.70, p.101. Yeva is mentioned in The Robots' Rebellion, p.4; Icke, The Robots' Rebellion, p.vi.  (back)


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Published July 14, 2014