This week Channel Five repeated its Boxing Day documentary: "David Icke - was he right?" To many of us, this would seem to make for the world's shortest programme. But, apparently, like anything in the public eye after a certain period of time, the mere act of surviving invites a revised critical look. A revised critical look invites the possibility of acceptance, credibility even. But the only thing David Icke invites is incredulity.
Following the very public fall from TV sports presenter, to self-proclaimed shell-suited son of God, he has since found an audience who is receptive to his particular line of conspiracy. He has found acclaim in the United States of America, where conspiracy theories ring true with a certain slice of American society (probably 'sliver' is more accurate). According to US government statistics, 142,000 Americans are injured every year as a direct result of the act of getting dressed, so it perhaps not surprising that few thousand will find the idea of a shape-changing reptile conspiracy lucid and rational.
But in a world that finds reason to reprise the work of Jeff Wayne simply because he hasn't yet died, David Icke too has enjoyed some media interest. In our post-9/11 world of uncertainty, Icke's predictions can seem uncannily prescient: In January 1999, he wrote that "between 2000 and 2002, the United States will suffer a major attack on a large city". In his 1990 paperback, Truth Vibrations, he declared: "The years after the millennium will see gathering conflict all over the world to the point where the United Nations will be overwhelmed." And in the same book he predicted severe hurricanes around the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans after 2000.
Granted, predicting hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico is akin to predicting the next Pope would be a Roman Catholic. And anyone with a slight acquaintance with current affairs would recognise the Twin Towers attack on September 2001 was actually the fifth time Al Qaeda has directly attacked US property. Nevertheless, people started to sit up and take notice.
The programme seemed reluctant to bring up some of Mr Icke's other predictions, so I thought, in the interest of balance, I'd let you in on a couple:
The same "vibrations" that led to the supposed 9/11 prediction also led him to declare that “disruptive thought vibrations" originating with the Sicilian Mafia and the Tiananmen Square massacre in China had combined to set in motion a cataclysm lead to the explosion of Mount Rainier in the United States. No date was given.
This would be followed, he said, by the complete disappearance of New Zealand, the collapse of the Channel Tunnel, the fall of Naples Cathedral, and an unspecified failure of the Texas oil fields. These events would be brought about by the “archangel Ak-Taurus,” who, he said, had previously managed to thwart an attempt by the citizens of Atlantis to avoid the submersion of that civilization. The Atlanteans, said Mr. Icke, had been urged to tune in to the “power point” at Stonehenge, but they did not heed the warning and were thus destroyed.
Those of a nervous disposition may take some comfort in the fact King Arthur and Merlin, along with the archangels, have now turned off the power at Stonehenge so that Ak-Taurus cannot use it against mankind. But by Christmas 1991, Mr. Icke predicted, Cuba, Greece, the Isle of Arran, the cliffs of Kent, and Teesside would be hit by a great earthquake (8.0 on the Richter scale) that would submerge them.
"People think I'm some kind of prophet but I'm not someone who gets my information from the ether," says Icke. "I've been given the co-ordinates about how things work." Those co-ordinates would seem to be pointing to east London. Right around Barking.
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