The People’s Voice, part 1

The launch of The People’s Voice – and its spectacular decline – was one of the biggest stories of 2014 for those interested in the conspiracy / spirituality milieu. It was to be an independent “alternative” TV channel, initially broadcast through the Internet, entirely funded by public donations and advertising. It was also to a considerable degree a David Icke production. He fronted the initial campaign, and was heavily featured in the programming; davidicke.com’s webmaster, Sean Adl-Tabani, was the project’s manager, and a number of Icke’s collaborators and family had prominent roles.

I followed the project from its inception, watched much of the programming, and observed the decline and eventual implosion. I also took notes now and again, especially when I thought there was a risk of certain things being retracted or redacted down the line. So as a matter of historical record, I offer this account. I offer no speculations on the motives or morality of the people involved, although you can easily find such speculation online, if you want to (for example, here and here).

The project was launched with a fundraising campaign on Indigogo on May 31st, 2013. It ended July 10th 2013, and raised £300,692, more than three times its £100,000 goal. The video has been removed from the web, probably because it prominently featured Sonia Poulton, Barrie Sharpe and Elissa Hawke, all of whom would leave the station shortly after (or in Sharpe’s case, before) the station launched.

The campaign also prominently featured a quote from Russell Brand, although Brand would ultimately not appear on the People’s Voice:

‘I am excited by David’s new venture. We all complain about media bias and now we will have an outlet beholden only to the people. I think it will be crazy and fun and I hope to be on it.’ – Russell Brand

10/11/13 – first fundraising telethon. This was essentially a dry-run of the station’s capabilities, using the second studio for performance segments and the main studio for interviews, and so on, interspersed with film of Icke and others asking for donations and extolling the promise of TPV.

Continue reading

Annunaki Plan / Human Plan?

Displaying photo.JPGI discovered this little gem at the central library in Edinburgh. “The Annunaki Plan? or The Human Plan?” was self-published by Chris Thomas in 2010, who appears to be based in Wales. He has produced a number of other books, before and afterwards, on alternative histories, “earth mysteries” and healing, and most interestingly for me, books which link ancient alien narratives and millennialism. As much of my work demonstrates, this synchretism (or I prefer discursive transfer) frequently involves the mobilisation of conspiracy narratives, and so I want to present this little volume as an example of the field of millennial conspiracism, showing that it encapsulates many of the features of this field.

It begins “most people are aware that something is changing, this change occurring on every possible level of our existence” (6). But we are extolled that we must choose what the outcome of this change is to be – for good or for ill. This exemplifies a millennial-apocalyptic tension which is typical of the field. David Icke and Alex Jones also frequently demonstrate this kind of tension, where the global awakening is seemingly caused by the consspirators’ plan reaching its ”endgame’. Typically, we are being deliberately misled by at-this-point-unspecified conspirators into making a choice leading to destruction. In fact, the author alleges they have made attempts against his life (7). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the terminal point for this decision to be made is (was) the 21st of December, 2012.

The book then goes on to recount an account of human history, “as recorded in the Akashic” records (9), which Thomas claims debunks the Annunaki narrative of Zecharia Sitchin et al. In Sitchin’s account, aliens from Niburu – a hitherto unknown planet orbiting our sun on a 10,000 year elliptical orbit – descended to Earth in prehistory to mine gold, subjugating humanity in the process. The Annunaki became revered as gods, becoming present-day elites as they hid their bloodlines in royal dynasties and secret societies. Thomas calls this account a “fantasy” (17), and describes a more neoplatonic, Theosophical account of the creation of the cosmos, Atlantis, the Pyramids, etc, and a Velikovsy-inspired account of a prehistoric catastrophe in the solar system (31-50).

Instead, the Akashic tells him that the Annunaki originate on a planet “23 galaxies away from ours” (24). The Annunaki, along with the Hathor, are groups within a race of energetic beings called the Velon, who headed for Earth only 300 years ago – because it is “God’s chosen planet” (26). The Hathor began to contact humans through channelling, whereas the Annunaki began monitoring us through implants, and to create bodies with a human appearance. From this data, they began to promote the story a la Sitchin, designed to appeal to human religious impulses. Sitchin was innocent of the deception, Thomas notes, as the Annunaki had travelled back in time to plant fabricated cuneiform tablets (27-8). They established the Illuminati, the Freemasons and the reformed Knights Templar, all of whom worked covertly together to establish the socialist New World Order (30). The EU, the Bilderberg Group, all scientists and academics (especially those supporting climate change), Al Qaeda, HAARP, the Theosophical Society and practically every element of the conspiracy theory milieu are in the pay of the Annunaki (54-66).

However, Thomas claims a second plan was put into place by the enlightened humans of 7000 years ago, in which it was agreed that our souls would be repeatedly reincarnated until we learned to live properly, at which point our souls and physical bodies will reintegrate, we would be free of disease and enlightened. However, a time limit was set… 2012 (52). He claims that some 4.5 million humans in isolated communities have already achieved this aim since 2003, but that time is running out for the rest of us, and the Annunaki plan is there to distract us from the urgency. Thomas sets out his advice to achieve soul reintegration: working through our emotional blockages to clear our chakras.

So, in 90-odd pages we have a sweeping history of the cosmos, and human life, at odds with both scientific and religious consensus; ancient aliens, linking this alternative archaeological narrative to UFOs; an Annunaki Plan which links these further to the New World Order and Illuminati; a date-specific teleological narrative, combining millennial and apocalyptic components; and a dualistic Gnostic narrative of salvation through special knowledge. Quite an inventive and unique bricolage. His most unique contribution is to make the Annunaki Plan a la Sitchin a part of the deception. Yet in another way, quite typical, inasmuch as these various structural elements seem always to appear in some form or another. For every David Icke or Jim Marrs, there will be scores of small-press or internet entrepreneurs like Thomas, not to mention their hundreds of thousands of subscribers, each with a slightly different take on the material, and their own favoured theory. It is sometimes said of loosely-structured milieux such as millennial conspiracism or New Age that, as they lack a central organisation and a formal creedo, they become an “anything goes” smorgasbord – or perhaps more accurately, given the frequent disparaging comments about their economies, a supermarket deli counter. Yet it isn’t the case, as Thomas’ book shows. We might not know how everything goes together exactly, but we can be reasonably sure what elements to expect, and which would never make an appearance, so there is a commonality there. Thomas is like a jazz musician who is improvising a familiar tune but trying to twist the melody into a unique shape. It’s just that he never made it out of the club circuit.

David Icke, Chemtrails and UKIP Conference’s Star Speaker

Guido Fawkes today reports that Hong La, one of the speakers at the upcoming UKIP conference, is a fan of David Icke and Alex Jones, and a proponent of the Chemtrails narrative, in which the NWO is spraying mind and climate-altering chemicals from aircraft.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that both Nigel Farage and Lord Monkton have both appeared on the Alex Jones Show on a number of occassions, as has David Icke. Rather curious, then, that Farage’s opponents aren’t milking that particular PR angle, instead reserving it for relatively minor figures like La.

David Icke, Chemtrails and UKIP Conference's Star Speaker.

First Thoughts on The Perception Deception

One downside to being a specialist in David Icke’s work is that his books get longer as the titles get more defiant, more iconoclastic and frankly funnier. 2010’s Human Race, Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More at 690 pages was the previous record holder, but his latest, The Perception Deception: Or… It’s ALL bollocks – yes, ALL of it (913 pages) is the clear winner. And it’s taken me a while to get through it.

This book was written between Icke’s Wembley Arena show in October 2012 and the launch of The People’s Voice in February. Icke was heavily involved in the People’s Voice, a subscriber-funded Internet tv channel, when it launched, fronting several funding campaigns, making frequent appearances and bringing in many of his collaborators and family, including his son, Gareth and Neil Hague, whose images are heavily featured in The Perception Deception. The People’s Voice is floundering at present, and Icke has all but dropped out of the project – I intend to write a piece detailing the development of the People’s Voice for this blog soon. Icke is at work on a second Wembley Arena gig on October 25th this year.

In many respects, The Perception Deception follows a similar structure to Icke’s work from around the time of 2003’s Tales from  the Time Loop. Prior to this he had generally started with one or other conspiracy theory, and extrapolated from it out into the more rarified levels of the “Global Control Pyramid”, infamously situating Reptilian extraterrestrials at the apex. But from 2003, his concern moves to the idea that all of our apparent reality is illusory, a kind of “dreamworld”. His books and presentations over the last decade have flipped the previous structure, beginning with the illusory Dreamworld and descending from there into the specific conspiracies of the everyday world.

The parallels to the “anticosmic” theologies of various Gnostic theologies and philosophies is clear, and it is telling that Icke often uses the term “the Matrix” to describe the illusory world of the 5 senses, given that the hugely popular movie repackaged Gnostic ideas into a science-fiction narrative. However, as I picked up on at Wembley in 2012, Icke has taken more overt influence from Gnosticism – or at least, from the somewhat simplified popular construction of it. There are numerous references here to “the Gnostic texts” (82, 168, ff), which Icke suggests provide evidence that the physical world is a trap and that the moon is hollow. Most interestingly, however, is that Icke is moving away from talking of reptilians towards talking of Archons particularly, with reptilians becoming one expression or manifestation among others of energetic archonic beings. One could argue that Icke is doing this to minimise the often-ridiculed reptilian thesis without being seen as abandoning it altogether, but I think that rather, he has found a way to reconcile the apparent contradiction between having evil extraterrestrial agents and a world which is illusory. Wouldn’t that make the reptilians illusory too, and the threat they pose? Not if they are projections of malevolent archontic energies from outside the Matrix…

Other than that, there is little that is new in The Perception Deception. Rather, it is a comprehensive exposition of his previous work: the illusory dreamworld of Tales from the Time Loop; the global conspiracies of …And the Truth Shall Set You Free and Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster; Human Race, Get off your Knees‘ “moon matrix” and it’s connection with Saturn from Remember Who You Are; even the more Theosophically-inspired material from his earliest books like the seldom-acknowledged Love Changes Everything, particularly the narrative of the corruption of a Luciferian being and the subsequent “fall” and separation of mankind from the rest of the universe. That narrative also recalls the work of G. I. Gurdjieff, who himself drew liberally from Gnostic traditions. I’ll explore the influence of Gurdjieff on Icke’s work in a future post.

Bilderberg, Alex Jones, David Icke and UKIP

Martin Rowson cartoon 8.6.2013

I expect, if you read this blog, that you’ll be aware that the 2013 Bilderberg Group meeting took place over the weekend at the Grove hotel in Watford. Only a few years ago, the press were largely denying the existence of the group; this year it has been covered by the Guardian (Martin Rowson’s cartoon from 8.6.2013 shown on left), the Independent, Sky News, the BBC and undoubtedly other outlets. The BBC even had Alex as a guest, although frankly I don’t think he handled it too well (see below). His similar tactics against Piers Morgan in the US were probably better received because many Americans see Morgan as an outsider, but here, Jones was the outsider.

Alex Jones has covered the Bilderberg Group for a long time, and this year travelled to the UK to personally report on the event, and to “bullhorn” the meeting from a barge. He also got to meet David Icke in person for the first time, despite Icke being a frequent guest (via skype) on his daily show. You can watch the interview below.

Don’t forget that in 2001, Alex Jones called Icke a “con man” and the Reptilian thesis as the “turd in the punchbowl” of his otherwise lucid conspiracist research in Jon Ronson’s Secret Rulers of the World documentary series on Channel 4. Interestingly, Icke now seems to be attempting to set up a media operation similar to Jones’.

Another guest to feature on the show was UKIP MEP Gerard Batten (below). Nigel Farage and Lord Monkton have both previously appeared on Jones’ show. Presumably, they are hoping that this exposure will increase their profile internationally through Jones’ considerable US audience, and may even be part of a strategy aimed at creating a broader libertarian network. However, given their recent bullish trajectory in the UK, how wise is it for them to be aligning themselves with someone who has just been called an “idiot” and a “lunatic” on the BBC?

Presentation: Universalising the Other: Reptilians, the New Age and Globalisation

Here, for your delectation, is my presentation from the British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion study group – SOCREL – conference, 2012, entitled Universalising the Other: Reptilians, the New Age and Globalisation. It was part of a panel on “Religious Conspiracies” which I organised. Here’s the abstract:

This paper examines belief systems which emerged during the 1990s and broadened their appeal over the last decade, blending popular conspiracy theories with New Age narratives. Typically, they propose that an occluded elite work to controll and oppress humanity, physically aand spiritually, but that when enough individuals become cognisant of their oppression, the transformation and emancipation of humanity will occur. Using David Icke’s notorious Reptilian thesis as an example, I argue that these metaphysical conspiracist narratives present a conception of the Other which locates the origin of social inequity in non-human agencies, rather than ethnic or ideological differences. Thus, Icke creates a popular theodicy which accounts for the problem of evil within a globalised and pantheistic worldview. i argue that Icke’s thesis – and metaphysical conspiracism more broadly – is an attempt to explain away the failure of the New Age and the Enlightenment project more broadly to create a world of peace and plenty in the 20th Century.

As you listen to the audio (player below), you can follow the powerpoint slides on the embedded player underneath. I hope you enjoy.