[Author's Note: Literally a day after publishing this piece, news came in that youtube purged David Icke's videos from the site. Which automically raises the question: If he is such a crackpot conspiracy kook like he's typically portrayed in the mainstream media then why bother censoring him? What if there is something to some of his ideas after all--ideas that are particularly relevant in this moment and need to be kept hidden?]
In this piece I want to explore the work of noted conspiracist David Icke. In particular the focus will be on Icke’s (in)famous notion of reptilians (aka “lizard people”) as well as his lesser known, but arguably more intriguing, idea of “loosh”.
This piece will tie together numerous threads explored in previous pieces on the site: Gnosticism, trauma, high strangeness, conspiracy theory, as well as the UFO phenomenon.
Background reading would include:
This piece on Gnostic theology in the adult animated comedy Sausage Party (Icke’s work is very explicitly Gnostic).
This piece on how to discern true from false conspiracy theories.
This piece on weird naturalism.
This piece on the interrelationship between high strange encounters and trauma.
In the Gnostic piece I cited the work of Prof. Matthew Dillon who has studied David Icke’s work as a contemporary form of Neo-Gnosticism. Here’s an interview with Prof. Dillon that is worth listening to in whole to grasp a wider sense of Icke’s thought.
Icke’s work is sprawling, ever-evolving, complex, multi-layered, and at times arguably problematic (see charges of anti-Semitism in his work for example).* The focus here is only on one element of Icke's work, i.e. the Reptilians and their feeding off of negative energy (loosh). Nevertheless a (very) basic primer on Icke's cosmology is important to place The Reptilians and loosh into the wider context of his thought.
Icke’s wikipedia page is a surprisingly even-handed and informative overview of his work.
“Icke proposes that an inter-dimensional race of reptilian beings called the Archons have hijacked the earth and are stopping humanity from realising its true potential. He claims they are the same beings as the Anunnaki, deities from the Babylonian creation myth the Enûma Eliš, and the fallen angels, or Watchers, who mated with human women in the Biblical apocrypha. Icke believes that a genetically modified human/Archon hybrid race of shape-shifting reptilians, known as the "Babylonian Brotherhood" or the Illuminati, manipulate global events to keep humans in constant fear, so the Archons can feed off the 'negative energy' this creates…Icke believes that the "Brotherhood" use human anxiety as energy, and that the Archons keep humanity trapped in a "five sense reality" so they can feed off the negative energy created by fear and hate…Icke believes that the only way this 'Archontic' influence can be defeated is if people wake up to 'the truth' and fill their hearts with love.”
There’s a great deal there to unpack.
First: The Archons as Reptilians/Inter-dimensionals. Archons is a term from ancient Gnosticism. Prof. April DeConick argues that Gnosticism was the world’s first conspiracy theory so the link between the two in Icke follows a nearly two thousand year thread. In Gnosticism Archons appeared to the masses to be gods worthy of human worship and obedience but according to the Gnostics, these gods were in reality frauds. Only Gnostics through their special revelation and insight (gnosis) realized the false nature of the Archons and saw beyond them to a realm of Unconditioned and Absolute Pure Love. This realm was seen to be elsewhere, beyond the control grid of the Archons.
What Icke did was to take the notion of the Archons and combine it with UFOs/Interdimensional/ETs, particularly through the influence of Zechariah Sitchin. Icke was also able to bring certain threads from science fiction and film whereby the world was seen as a computer generated illusion as an updated version of the Gnostic teaching on creation as a fallen illusion (see my review of The Matrix on this point).
Icke also synthesized his Gnostic views with that of New World Order government conspiracies via the notion of the Illuminati/Cabal as genetic Archon reptilian-human hybrids (hence “lizard people”.) Further Icke was able to develop Gnostic thought in the direction of trauma in a unique way.
One very influential branch of ancient Gnosticism was that of The Sethians. The Sethians argued that The Archons created souls for humans in order to trap their spirits (from the Realm of Light) in the human body. As Prof. Dillon points out, Icke extended this idea and brought in the notion of trauma. As the wikipedia entry puts it, The Archons “feed off the negative energy created by fear and hate”. The ancient Sethians never argued the Archons parasitically fed off the pain and suffering of the trapped spirits in the ensouled human. Icke used the term loosh for this traumatized energy that the Archons fed off of, a term he borrowed from Robert Monroe.
So what are we to make of all this?
The first major issue is that Icke takes the notion of reptilians quite literally. This literalism dogs much of UFO literature—it’s in ancient aliens theory, the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH), plus nuts-and-bolts Ufology. This literalistic fundamentalism leads to lots of lampooning of lizard people (e.g. hilariously by Weird Al). The result is a dismissal of critiques in Icke’s work on issues like smart girds, technocracy, false dialectics, problem-reaction-solution control mechanisms, and so on—elements that are really core to much nuanced conspiracy thought, which don’t require believing in literal alien-human hybrids.
But if we bring a weird naturalist and trauma-aware lens here I think there are some ways to re-interpret Icke’s core notions of the reptilians as well as their parasitic feeding off of negative energy (loosh).
Let’s start with Reptilians. Survival physiology—that is the fight, flight, and freeze mechanism of trauma—is rooted in the “reptilian” brain stem. In contrast to the reptilian brain stem, humans have the paleo-mammalian brainstem as well as the frontal neocortex. The paleo-mammalian stem is the seat of empathy, connection, and bonding (think primates grooming each other). The neocortex is the biological home of reason, logic, critical thinking and perspective-taking.
In very simplified terms, when trauma physiology becomes activated, a person’s thinking and empathic emotional intelligence goes “offline.” All that remains in such a state then is reptilian energy. Another word for reptilian energy psychologically is sociopathic (i.e. non-empathic). Reptiles do not have empathy; they are amoral creatures. They eat their own young for example. Consider that point in light of Icke’s consistent charges for years of child sexual slavery rings among the elites. At the time Icke was called a nutter for such charges but as Ezekiel73 has pointed out, we have seen those exact accusations verified in cases like Jimmy Saville (media), Sandusky Penn State (sports), the Catholic Church (religion), and Kevin Spacey (Hollywood).
Reptiles have no empathy. The elite have no empathy. When we see that for the second time in barely over a decade, a global economic meltdown occurs and governmental elites run to bailout repo markets, corporate executives, high end Wall Street firms, and the like, we see reptilian behavior. We see a super elite existing only to protect their own.
Numerous examples could be cited here to further solidify this point: starting wars and sending off the masses to die to enrich the military-industrial-banking complex; psychological and medical experimentation on unsuspecting citizens (MK Ultra); flooding neighborhoods with drugs. The list is extensive. When explored in light of such base, criminal malfeasance, I can see Icke’s point that “they” (Elites/Cabal) must be, at least partly, a non-human “Other.” The elites are so out of touch with common humanity it as if they are “from another world.” They must be some foreign, non-native, “alien”, invasive species.
When Icke says that the Elite are the hybrid offspring of Reptilian Aliens (Archons/Demons) and humans, symbolically it means these individuals have lost their humanity. They have been so taken over by instinctual, amoral, egocentric energies of survival at all cost that they have lost the piece that makes a person most human: i.e. love and empathy.
In trauma work there is a saying which goes, “hurt people hurt people.” Elites are raised in an environment that normalizes manipulation, abuse, and secrecy. They are entrained into such patterns—often themselves being abused or witnessing abuse—in order to shut down their natural human empathic tendencies. By engendering abuse and trauma in generation upon generation of the elite, these elites have epigenetic markers of such sociopathology. In Icke’s language this would be the notion of the elite’s obsession with their “bloodlines”.
From a weird naturalist point of view bloodlines would be code for ancestral epigenetic trauma being passed down generation to generation. As detailed elsewhere on the site, Angwyyn St. Just’s work on Trauma as a fractal is relevant here. St. Just shows how human collectives and systems retain memory—particularly traumatic memory—and karmically play themselves out upon people, making them puppets or conduits for such traumatic energy to consume them, unless the trauma is broken.
This idea of collective and systemic trauma as a quasi-independent energetic force points us back to the Archons. Ickes’ Archons-as-Reptiles may have deeper truth than it would seem on the surface. What if these elites are in the thrall of an anti-life, demonic force? Conspiracy theorists often call Elites Luciferian and Satanic but here we need only think of the way in which the human elites are subservient energetically to these “sinister forces” (as Peter Levenda termed them).
The Bible calls such anti-life/demonic forces “the powers and principalities”. These powers and principalities energetically “infest” human systems—governmental, media, educational, cultural, even religious. The paradigmatic example in the Bible is that of Egypt and the enslavement of the Hebrews. The pyramids for The Bible are a literal, physical embodiment of the entire system of oppression: power only moves upwardly. Every person further down the line the pyramid is fed off of by someone higher up. Drinking deeply of that in-toxicating brew leads the person on top (Pharaoh) to believe he is an actual god. But what if Pharaoh was himself prey for these sinister forces?
In other words, if the human elites act in ways that are parasitic upon the larger human masses, what if they are themselves simply reflecting a higher order parasitism? The Archons then feed off their human elite devotees, cultivating in the humans the model of parasitism, which they in turn reflect back “down the pyramid” upon the human masses. This process of downwards predation perpetuates until the whole world becomes a demonic fun-house-mirrors effect with violence cascading from top to bottom. Again, Icke’s “alien”-ated sense of reality, his Gnostic view of the world as a fear-based simulation, starts to make symbolic sense in light of such concrete realty. (Again I think Icke’s literalism undercuts his own better points here as elsewhere.)
Reptilians then, in many ways, is a very grounded and potent symbolic illustration of the sociopathic nature of the Elites. These Elites in Icke’s view are half-alien which again speaks to an “alien other”, a force that is not for the benefit of humanity. The existing super elites are definitely a class, arguably even a species unto themselves through Transhumanism. Again here Icke is onto something—something that he undermines by his own literalism.
Trauma understanding not only clarifies the symbolic import of Reptilians but also of “loosh”. Loosh is, in essence, traumatized psychophysical energy. It’s the energy released in the human nervous system when in trauma/stress physiology. Icke mentions that the Reptilians seek to keep people in hate and fear. Hate is the fight in fight/flight/freeze, while fear is flight. Fight and flight derive from the sympathetic branch of the Autonomic Nervous System and indicate high activation. The other classic form of traumatized energy is “freeze”, that is numbing out, drug addiction, the haze of “living in the Matrix”. One could potentially add a 4th “F” to the list: fornication. The mainstreaming of pornography would be relevant here.
All of these dsyregulated survivalist responses take a person out of their natural rhythm, allowing them to be much more easily controlled. Further such free-floating trauma can easily be “fed off of” by the system, like a parasite. Again on this point Icke’s ideas are strangely prescient, even if he takes their interpretation too grossly literal.
Icke’s solution to this energetic prison planet is to learn to embrace love. From a Gnostic point of view that is to spiritually awaken to the Pure Realm of Goodness beyond this illusory matrix as a way to transcend and negate the manifest universe. In this regard Icke is simply repeating a standard Gnostic line. From a nervous system/trauma perspective, the implications of Icke’s argument is that humans must learn to regulate their own nervous system. In so doing they will cease transmitting traumatized energy which the system (or Archons and their Elites) consume. Symbolically understood, if individuals “unplug” their nervous systems from direct interface with the Trauma-Dome then “they” (Archons and Elites) will be stripped of their food source. The Elites and their Archonic masters would wither away and die for lack sustenance.
In an earlier piece I explored how trauma processes assist alien abductees. Icke argues, in a sense, for a kind of sociopolitical “alien” abduction on a universal human scale. It is intriguing that his proposed solution to this catastrophic mess is precisely the same: to re-regulate the human nervous system, binging it back “online” to it’s more lucid, calm, generative, and empathic core nature.
*Prof. Dillon explores the anti-Semitism charge in great detail in his research. It’s relevant given the history of anti-Semitism in conspiracisim. Icke denies being anti-Semitic but he definitely doesn’t help his own cause when he’s citing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and claiming it’s really a text about The Illuminati.