David Icke’s Reptilian Thesis and the Development of New Age Theodicy

Robertson, David G. (2013). David Icke’s Reptilian Thesis and the Development of New Age Theodicy. International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 4(1) pp. 27–47.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsnr.v4i1.27


Despite its considerable currency in popular culture, David Icke’s Reptilian Thesis is almost always viewed academically as irrational and anti-Semitic. Here, I suggest that it be considered instead against a) traditional conceptualizations of “evil,” and b) the development of the New Age milieu. The need to reconcile a holistic, relativizing construction of evil with the perceived failure of the New Age to arrive was keenly felt in the New Age milieu through the 1990s and 2000s. An Other had to exist, yet could not be constructed as human. The Reptilian Thesis introduces a theodicy into New Age, of a globalized, extra-terrestrial Other. Icke’s Reptilian Thesis seeks to portray the extra-terrestrial as that which is, literally, “alien,” in order to explain away the perceived failure of the New Age. The New Age, Icke suggests, did not fail to arrive, but was prevented from arriving. The Reptilian Thesis is therefore not so much a departure from New Age Theodicy, but a reconfiguration of it.

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