by Harriet Alexander
04 December 2011
David Icke is back, offering
his conspiracy theories on a world tour.
And, people are now
David Icke in Zagreb
They travelled from faraway lands, following a star to find
salvation and pay homage to the man who would show them the way. But
this was not Nazareth, and - this time, at least - there was no hint
that he might be the son of God.
David Icke has learnt his lesson, and yesterday in the Croatian
capital he even mocked himself for that disastrous 1991 appearance
on Terry Wogan’s chat show, when he was ridiculed over claims that
he was the son of God.
Icke’s reception at a packed Zagreb conference centre was Messianic
in its fervor.
Buzzing with anticipation, 1,300 people applauded
with zeal as a giant screen above the stage showed a clip of the Wogan humiliation, and a booming voiceover declared:
stopped him, and nothing will stop him.”
“You all thought he had disappeared,” one convert told The Sunday
Telegraph. “But while you were buried in The X Factor, David was
taking on the world.”
To whoops, cheers, and an audience of raised camera phones, Mr Icke,
59, strode on to the stage in a salmon pink shirt - paunchy and
saggier than in his TV pin-up youth, but with the same piercing blue
eyes and unmistakable grey mullet.
“They all think I’m mad, you
know,” he said, to laughter from the devotees seated in the dark
conference hall. “But imagine being called sane in a world of such
insanity? What a nightmare!”
Leaning forward in their seats, a crowd of teenagers, besuited
businessmen, pensioners and middle-class couples, who had paid
around 150 kuna (£17), hung on his every word.
intently as Icke began his intoxicating, eight-hour explanation of
how we are all holograms; September 11 was “engineered terrorism”;
the moon is a hoax; and the world is being controlled by a cabal of
His tone was matey, his performance engrossing as he railed against
“bleedin’ scientists” who think fluoride is good in water - when all
it is really doing is “blocking your pituitary gland and keeping you
With PowerPoint slides and a whizzing stream of
biological graphs and charts, he explains in pseudo-scientific terms
how elves exist alongside sprites, and quotes Einstein, John Milton
and Albert Camus. It is like being inside a Dan Brown theme park,
set inside The Matrix.
One of the biggest cheers is for a joke about corruption among
Croatia’s politicians - on the eve of today’s parliamentary election
- and how absurd it is that they want to join the EU.
“We don’t trust politicians,” nodded Vanessa Valovicic, 18, an
international business student who had travelled from the Adriatic
island of Rab for the event.
“When I first read his books, I was
confused, and it took a while to make sense. But now I am excited by
Diana Dika, 43, an English teacher from Split, said her “eyes were
reading Icke’s books.
“It was like a puzzle coming
together. It just made sense. Now I look at his website every day,
and I share the information with my colleagues, friends and family.
He warns about vaccinations because they are part of the control
system, so just this week I argued with my doctor against having my
daughter vaccinated. This is such a big moment for Croatia.”
That David Icke is circumnavigating the globe on a frequently
sold-out world tour may well come as a surprise in the UK, given his
gut-wrenchingly dramatic downfall.
“They’re laughing at you,” Terry Wogan told him 20 years ago, “they’re not laughing with you.”
now it is Icke who is having the last laugh.
“People have suddenly picked up on this tour as if it is something
new,” he told The Sunday Telegraph, in a series of emails.
spoke to 3,000 people in Los Angeles as far back as 2003. We are
going to Wembley Arena next year for a simple reason - it has the
capacity to meet the exploding interest.”
And the interest is, indeed, phenomenal.
This autumn, Icke has
spoken in 10 cities, across three continents. In New York, he was
given a standing ovation by a sell-out, 2,100-strong crowd. Next
week, in Amsterdam, he will talk to 1,750 people, while in Melbourne
alone ticket sales racked up £83,000.
Since 1998, publishing industry analyst Nielsen
calculates that Icke has sold 140,000 copies, worth over £2 million.
They have been translated into 11 languages, and he sells “tens of
thousands” in Germany, Romania and Sweden.
The boy from Leicester, first a professional footballer and then a
sports presenter, has come a long way.
In 1990, he had what he
describes as his “awakening”, when a psychic in Brighton told him
that he was a healer, placed on Earth for a purpose. Then came the
infamous Wogan appearance (above video).
He later told the television host:
“I couldn’t walk down the street
without people laughing at me. Going into a pub, there was uproar. A
comedian only had to say my name to get a laugh.”
Icke retreated to the Isle of Wight, where he still lives, with his
then-wife Linda and their three children.
The introduction of
psychic Deborah Shaw into the house completed what the media called
“the turquoise triangle” - a color Mr. Icke wore for its “positive
energy” - although Ms Shaw was kicked out when she became pregnant
with Icke’s daughter.
Divorcing Linda, he remarried spiritualist Pamela Richards, but the
demise of their union around 2007, and the subsequent costly
divorce, is thought to have eaten into a large chunk of his fortune.
Indeed, there is no sign of vast wealth. His company generates only
moderate revenues; he lives in an unassuming £115,000 flat in Ryde,
where neighbors say he is “very pleasant” but not around much.
Which, given that the world is hungry for his message, is hardly
Icke’s theories are an intoxicating mix of global politics, New Age
rhetoric and “them-versus-us” conspiracy theories.
“disrespectful, ignorant and stunningly ill-informed about
the forces behind world events”.
“Icke is mad. Yeah, yeah; yawn, bloody yawn,” he told this
“My views are not well known except among those who have
bothered to read my books and attend my events - that’s the trouble.
I speak for 10 hours with no script and 1,400 images. Are all those
people - especially when the talk is simultaneously translated
through earphones - going to sit there all that time to listen to a nutter? Of course not.”
Dr. Karen Douglas, a psychologist from the University of Kent who
specializes in conspiracy theories, said that in an increasingly
uncertain world, finding the comfort of an explanation becomes ever
“It’s dealing with their own lack of control over
information, and empowering people to feel like they have the actual
answer,” she said. “In the age of the internet, this all becomes
easier to tap into.”
And she says that it is unjust to class everyone with an interest in
conspiracy theories as being unhinged.
“You can’t make the blanket
assumption that they are all fruitcakes,” she said. “Most people are
just looking for some kind of an explanation as to how they fit into
Mark Devlin, 41,
a DJ from Oxford, travelled to Zagreb to see the
And he admitted that at first he thought Icke was “a nutter”.
“But I gradually became interested in his ideas, read his books, and
it slowly slotted into place. I had what I call a conscious
“It’s human nature to question existence - why are we here, who are
we? I’m sure people laugh at me behind my back, but I don’t care -
and actually, more and more of my friends want to talk about this.
“People call David the loony lizard man, or an anti-Semite, as an
easy way of dismissing him. They don’t want to question their own
perceptions - it’s uncomfortable. But I think 100 years from now
we’ll look back and realize that he was a major historical figure,
of huge global importance.”
Outside, the crowds peeled off into the Zagreb night, their faces
alight with revelation.
Marko Tarle, 78, a former professor at the
University of California, said he felt empowered by the experience.
“It is amazing to know what is happening behind the curtain,” he
said. “People deserve to know the truth.”