The craziest conspiracy theory ever has a history of nearly sixty years. This.
Angelo Paura writes about digital cultures, political and social changes, technology and the global economy. He is a journalist for NewsGuard, a New York startup that deals with transparency and credibility in the media. He is also US regular contributor to the Messenger. Lives in the United States.
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Lthe first time I heard about reptilians was in 2003. Conspiracy theories were not yet widespread in Italy and to give them credit it almost seemed to belong to an avant-garde. This is what a psychologist friend who is fond of aliens told me, recommending reading David Icke ‘s Children of the Matrix . A really strange guy, Icke: former goalkeeper of a football team, sports journalist for the BBC, spokesperson for the English Green Party who later became a guru of new age and international conspiracy, prolific writer of dozens of books and lecturer who fills sports arenas throughout the western world.
The book came out in 2001, two years after The Matrix , which Icke claims is, like other films, a vehicle for spreading encrypted messages to an elite who can decrypt them. You are the Visitors , they live and other masterpieces of cinema as Eyes Wide Shut , Stanley Kubrick in which he tried to denounce the bloody rites of reptilians who would attend. Icke argues that Kubrick’s own death, which occurred before the film ended, would be punishment for trying to reveal the secret.
Returning to Children of the Matrix : I remember the black cover, the chains of fluorescent green vertical numbers, two eyes, that of a human being next to that of a reptile, and the writing: “For thousands of years a race from another dimension keeps humanity subjugated… Acting under our eyes ”. All this seems like a hallucination that goes against all scientific certainty. Very true. But in 25 years (he wrote the first book in 1991) Icke has sold over 20 million copies, while his site has more than 4 million unique users per month and is the most followed esoteric and conspiracy portal in the world.
The description of the cosmos proposed by Icke manages to trace every event – from Satanism to Freemasonry to the world wars – to an alien race that arrived on earth thousands of years ago. Here are his words:
Thousands of years ago, the reptilian races [from the constellations of Orion, Sirius and Dragon] arrived on planet Earth and interbred with the human race. Not physically, however, but through the manipulation of the human code, DNA.
Over the past fifteen years, the West has experienced a devastating economic crisis, a slow recovery accompanied by the rise, almost everywhere, of various types of populism. Meanwhile, conspiracy theories have become increasingly widespread, becoming a powerful engine for building consensus. Among the most cited themes are chemtrails, the campaigns on the danger of vaccines, the new world order of which Europe would be an emissary, the Illuminati and of course the reptilians.
“It is not surprising that in an increasingly scientific and advanced society these theories increase. I think it partly has to do with the fact that people have not been educated to develop critical skills. For this reason, they often fail to separate the truth from the lie, ” Michael Barkun, a professor of science and politics at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in New York State , said in an interview with Il Tascabile . Barkun is one of the world’s leading conspiracy experts: in 2001 he published Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America , one of the most in-depth texts on the subject .
In the revised edition in 2013, Barkun clearly describes the shift from internet subcultures often linked to American right-wing movements to the mainstream. In this passage, in addition to the skills of the individual authors (Barkun defines Icke as a “brilliant writer and a very intelligent promoter of himself”), conspiracy has spread quickly thanks to a distorted use of the internet and social media, which does not include verification sources.
Also in 2013, The Atlantic magazine published a satirical article with a test to unmask the reptilian politicians and, at the same time, to understand if you are part of this lineage without knowing it. Among the traits to take into consideration are red hair or hair, green eyes, but also an interest in science and space and the ability to “send electronic instruments into a tailspin”. The same year, a survey by Public Policy Polling showed that over 12 million Americans, 4% of the population, believed that politics was controlled by the reptilians.
In Italy a survey of this kind has not been carried out and with a good chance the people who believe in Icke’s theories are a smaller percentage but similar to that of the United States. At the end of the 90s, when the reptilian myth was born, in Italy it circulated only within very small groups, mainly linked to the new age. But over the past 10 years, conspiracy theories have taken up more and more space.
Icke is very popular and every time he comes to Italy he sells out. And the group of Bilderberg’s enemies, who believe that man has never been to the moon and that vaccines are very dangerous, has more and more space.
The theories of the false moon landing have always been a source of discussion for conspiracy theorists. Especially after Icke, in one of his latest revelations, said that the satellite of the Earth is an artificial construction of the reptilians, used, thanks to huge bases underground, to control the minds of human beings. Icke once again demonstrates how his universe is very complex, almost the plot of a novel in which every theme is linked: for example, the underground bases, since the 1950s, have been very studied by conspiracy theorists.
In Italy, several followers of the reptilian creed have told me several times about Ghedi, the military base in the province of Brescia, where there would be the entrance to an alien center hidden in a mountain. In this case the idea comes directly from science fiction: in They Live , for example, the bases where aliens live are underground.
The British royal family, the Bushes and (of course) the Rothschilds
Icke have very clear ideas about the reptilians. They include the entire British monarchy, the Bush family, the Rothschilds (who would be the true global puppeteers), the Obamas, Henry Kissinger, Bill and Hillary Clinton. But at the same time so are the Freemasons, the Illuminati, most of the Jews and the Pope. Most are lizards hybridized with human DNA and can change their shape, from human to reptilian appearance 2.5 meters tall , through shapeshifting,the change of form. Reptilians also tend to come together to perform unspeakable rites, in which they make sacrifices and drink human blood. Among the places of these meetings most cited by the author is the Bohemian Grove, a property of 1,100 hectares lost in the woods of Northern California, where every year the “powerful of the world” meet to discuss the new world order. , drinking, participating in rituals and having sex with strangers, again according to the stories made by some conspiracy theorists, including Alexander Emerick Jones. The American radio host and champion of the alt right, infiltrated the woods with a cameraman, filmed part of the main rite, the Cremation of Care: a huge bonfire in front of the statue of a huge wooden owl, a symbol of knowledge and of the group. The area belongs to the Bohemian Club, founded in 1872 as a club for journalists, artists and musicians which included Jack London, but also George HW Bush, Clint Eastwood, publisher William Randolph Hearst, Herbert Hoover, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.
According to Barkun, this whole intricate universe of references and explanations was created by Icke, although to build it he drew inspiration from several previous theories. “There are certainly other people who have spoken of reptilians with human characteristics before Icke. I tried to trace the origin of these ideas and I must say that we start talking about reptilians in the 1950s. But all of the people who preceded Icke had a very limited audience and they didn’t have much of an influence, ”Barkun said.
Recently the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yair Netanyahu, also shared content created by a conspiracy troll, in which not only reptilians are attacked, but also Jews. A meme explains that the Earth is controlled by the reptilians, who in turn control the Jewish lobby, which manages all of humanity: but the element that convinced Netanyahu to share the meme on Facebook is the presence of the progressive hedge fund. George Soros, placed at the top of the pyramid and often targeted by the right and the world’s top populist leaders. Soros and the theory of the Jewish conspiracy allows us to tell a last element of Icke’s cosmos.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Every conspiracy theory, in fact, wants to refer to a written document, to a revelatory act, suspended between magic and science. And Icke does so too, citing a false historian as a text in support of his world view: the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They were written in Russia in the early 1900s and describe the Jewish elite’s project to conquer the world through twenty-four actions, including the spread of liberal ideals and the control of humanity through the media and finance. As early as 1921, an article in the New York Times shows how in reality the protocols were a forgery, written in Russia as early as the mid-1800s to increase hatred of the Jewish bourgeoisie.
Despite the falsity of the writing and the fact that it is often cited by anti-Semitic movements around the world to motivate their hatred, Icke has repeatedly referred to the document as one of the proofs of the plot to create a new world order. There are many common traits between reptilian conspiracy and the American alt right . Steve Bannon has produced three documentaries , which describe the world as an eternal struggle between good and evil and in the most recent ( Torchbearer ) the former strategist of Donald Trump proposes a new global war to return to purity. In a 2010 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center magazine, Barkun explains why the alt right historically has been an incubator of conspiracy theories:
One reason is that far-right people often need an explanation for their continued lack of power and success. One way is to create a political vision dominated by a powerful and immense force of invisible evil that controls everything. According to these conspiracy theories, the political leaders we see are just “front people” of the real power holders operating behind the scenes and are the ones who do not allow the far right to get what it wants.
In the course of our interview, Barkun repeatedly recalled that however it is almost impossible to be able to define the political affiliation of the millions of supporters of the reptilian conspiracy, despite the fact that he has tried to trace its characteristics several times in recent decades. “I don’t think I know anyone who can do that. What are the political views of these people? Nobody is really sure of their political affiliation, their income, their social status and so on. Can not be said. Icke has sold a good number of books, has contracts all over the world to give lectures, but no one can tell who he really refers to. His audience is not definable ”.