David Icke's Kiwi fans - and their political friends
Icke's conspiracy theories demonise groups of humans as well reptiles. He believes that an international network of Jews plots against the interests of humanity, and blames Jews for both World War One and the Bolshevik revolution.
In an article published last weekend the Herald's Catherine Gaffaney described David Icke's long career as a conspiracy theorist and eschatologist. She remembered how he claimed, almost twenty years ago, that New Zealand would soon sink beneath the seas because of a series of natural disasters, and noted his insistence that he is the son of God. In another article published by the Herald, Rohan Smith mentioned Icke's belief that the moon is a gigantic alien space station. Smith suggested that Icke gets 'laughed out of most places he visits', because of the obviously ludicrous nature of his ideas.
But not everyone in New Zealand finds David Icke laughable. The Franklin E Local, a giveaway magazine based in the rural region just south of Auckland, recently ran a long and respectful interview with the man. The Franklin E Local is published in Pukekohe, but its website makes it widely accessible, and its articles about race relations and supposed cover-ups of New Zealand history have won it a cult following amongst right-wing activists in many parts of the country.
The E Local's editor Myklejon Winckel believes that a large and technologically sophisticated white civilisation existed thousands of years ago in New Zealand, before being overrun and destroyed by Polynesian ancestors of the Maori. According to Winckel, evidence of this ancient civilisation is being assiduously suppressed by an alliance of politically correct academics, Maori radicals, and corrupt politicians.
Back in 2008 I published an open letter to Myklejon Winckel and the Franklin E Local, in which I argued that the two creators and proponents of the theory of an ancient white civilisation in New Zealand, Martin Doutre and Kerry Bolton, were white supremacists and Holocaust deniers who lacked any training in the study of the past. Martin Doutre had been a regular contributor to Franklin E Local, and he conveniently turned up in the comments thread under my open letter to deny the Holocaust and show how little he knew about the history of New Zealand. I have not been the only person to draw attention to Franklin E Local's exercises in racist conspiracy theory: Maori activist Justin Taua and philosopher Matthew Dentith have both criticised the magazine.
In 2013 Alan Titford, a friend of Martin Doutre and a loud proponent of the 'whites were here first' fantasy, was convicted of rape and politically-motivated arson and sent to prison for twenty-four years. Maori Television's Native Affairs programme subsequently ran an investigation into Titford, and his links with E Local and a network of anti-Maori conspiracy theorists. The E Local refused to accept that Titford was a rapist and an arsonist, suggesting that he was the victim of a conspiracy designed to silence critics of Maoridom.
living secretly in the Vatican.
In her interview with David Icke, Franklin E Local's Julie Halligan avoids any mention of shapeshifting reptilians, but dwells on 9/11. Icke tells Halligan that the 'official story' about 9/11 'makes no sense whatsoever'. He suggests that the American government and Jews, aka Israel, were behind the attacks of that day. The same forces were, he claims, behind other terrorist outrages, like the massacre in Paris late last year.
Icke is not the only conspiracy theorist to feature in the recent Franklin E Local. As well as her interview, Julie Halligan has contributed a review of Kerry Bolton's book The Banking Swindle to the issue. For decades, Bolton has been a high-profile member of Australasia's neo-Nazi movement. In the 1970s he was a member of the country's Nazi Party, in the 1980s he founded and led the whites-only Church of Odin, and more recently he was a senior member of the avowedly racist National Front. Bolton writes regularly for the US-based neo-Nazi web magazine Countercurrents, where he recycles conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the world's economy and media.
By praising a paranoic like David Icke and an unashamed neo-Nazi like Kerry Bolton, the Franklin E Local has surely reached new depths of irrationality and bigotry. Because of its criticisms of Maori activism, E Local has won some support amongst conservative Pakeha New Zealanders. Anti-Treaty campaigner John Ansell has praised and written for the magazine; Don Brash has given it opinion pieces. If they continue their associations with the E Local, then Ansell and Brash should have no illusions about what they are aligning themselves with.
[Posted by Scott Hamilton]