I first heard of David Icke on the Terry Wogan show in 1991. I was about nineteen at the time. Icke had once been a famous footballer, until his career was cut short by arthritis. He then went on become a BBC television sports presenter. The reason why he was being interviewed by Terry Wogan was because he had recently published a book called The Truth Vibrations, where he claimed to have undergone profound spiritual changes and was in contact with beings from a higher dimension. The audience was very amused. Even more amused when Terry asked him if he was the Son of God. Not given time to explain the difference between a son of God and the Son of God, hilarity ensued. For me, the outrageous nature of this made the Wogan interview one of the unforgettable moments of television, and the name David Icke was firmly locked in my mind, forever shelved under messianic crackpot. Well, not quite forever, it seems.
Earlier this summer, whilst browsing the website of Christian conspiracy theorist Mark Dice, I came across an audio interview of Mark interviewing David. I thought it was a strange combination of interviewer and interviewee, given their opposing backgrounds, and so I got curious. I can’t remember what specifics in the interview caught my attention, but I was enthused enough by David’s presentation to seek out some of his books.
I chose I Am Me, I Am Free first, primarily because I was more interested in Icke’s spiritual views than his conspiracy theories or his radical theories about shape-shifting reptilians. Why was I not put off immediately by the knowledge that he believes reptilians are walking among us in human bodies? I don’t know. Maybe the Mark Dice interivew sounded too sane, and maybe the fact that I couldn’t marry this sanity with the outlandish claims created a sense of intrigue in me. In any case, I chose not to jump straight in with his reptilian book, The Biggest Secret, but rather to break myself in gently.
I Am Me, I Am Free disturbed me from the first chapter. And it disturbed me because it was chipping away at a closed-minded attitude that I possessed and didn’t know I possessed. It disturbed me because it seemed to be right. Some way into the book, I felt that I was finally starting to understand the greatest spiritual battle of my life: the battle between athiesm and Christianity. Icke woke me up to the “mind prison” that is conventional science – the idea that the world should only be understood in terms of “this is all there is,” that the burden of proof is the only measure of rational thought. But wait, he doesn’t stop there. He also makes an attack on religion, too. This was the most problematic aspect of the book, because I was a Christian as I was reading it, and had been consistently a Christian for about seven years.
But for the first time in my life I started understanding that there was an alternative to dogmatic religion and equally dogmatic science. And that alternative was the pursuit of truth without any attachment to an “ism,” without the necessity of taking on a strict set of beliefs, without fear of damnation. Just the breaking free from closed-minded assumptions you’re not even aware of and the openness to all possibility. I dared to deconstuct my Christian beliefs and start again from the ground up. Guess what? I can’t accept the Christian view of reality any more. One personal example of this (not from the book) is the way we can encounter things in the Bible like God commanding the Israelites to slaughter the men, women and children of Amalek (1 Samuel 15). We can’t understand this, so we put it on a shelf in our mind, thinking that we’ll get an explanation some day. But you know, it never comes down the from shelf. It just gathers dust. But you start to wake up to some of the craziness you’ve allowed yourself to believe, when you dare to deconstruct your beliefs and attempt to put them together again. Suddenly the bricks don’t fit as neatly as you thought they did.
The book covers much more ground than I’m mentioning here. There’s some excellent material on self-esteem and a particularly difficult chapter on mind control, which makes some terrifying claims that need further verification. But it’s the sort of book that contains much in the way of self-evident truth, and it’s the sort of book that you don’t have to accept hook, line and sinker. You can gain something from it and leave what you find unacceptable.
For me, this was a totally life-changing book. I didn’t expect this to happen to me when I started out. I know the world is full of people making all sorts of claims to enlightenment, and I don’t consider myself an easy man to fool. Richard Dawkins didn’t get very far with me. I’ve been waking up to a lot of things over the past few years, and this book has served only to step that awakening up a gear.
David Icke is an extremely important thinker in today’s world, and I am a better person for having discovered his books.