Tuesday

29th Nov 2022

UK conspiracy theorist David Icke denied entry to Netherlands

  • David Icke claims a secret society of reptiles rule the earth (Photo: Tyler Merbler)
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The Dutch cabinet has banned renowned British conspiracy theorist David Icke from entering the Netherlands for two years.

"By granting you access to the Netherlands, you are given a platform to publicise your theories in person, which can lead to disturbances of public order or the perpetration of violence in the Netherlands," the country's Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) said in a letter sent to Icke on Thursday evening (3 November).

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Icke believes the world is ruled by reptilians, a group of powerful aliens that pretend to be humans.

Icke claims the secret society meet and mingles with the world's powerful at the not-so-secret World Economic Forum in Davos.

Critics say the reptiles are a metaphor for a Jewish elite and point out that his worldview rests on claims Hitler was financed by Jews, who, according to Icke, are also responsible for organising the 2008 financial crisis and the 11 September attacks.

Although starting out as a fringe theory on the internet, the belief in alien reptiles has grown in popularity since the Covid pandemic. It has even found political support from Thierry Baudet, the leader of a right-wing conspiracist political party Forum voor Democratie (FvD, Forum for Democracy).

"Together for the Netherlands", a group of Dutch anti-lockdown protestors, established in 2021 based on "an invincible feeling of love," invited Icke to a rally to speak on a stage facing the Second World War memorial on the city's main Dam square.

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema expressed unease over the demonstration, saying it would negatively affect the dignity of the memorial.

In recent weeks three counter-protests have been announced, including a rally by the Center for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI), the country's leading organisation dedicated to combating antisemitism.

In October, Halsema, together with the chief prosecutor and the chief of police, had asked the IND to deny Icke entry over security concerns, which was subsequently granted on Thursday.

Although the IND has the authority to refuse entry, it rarely happens in a country known for its strict freedom of speech protection.

Law professor Jan Brouwer criticised the ban, noting freedom of expression is a constitutional right and warned that denying people the ability to speak could lead to "Russian, Chinese or Korean circumstances."

"Freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate is a great asset, but it is not unlimited," justice minister Justice Dilan Yeşilgöz said on Friday, adding that "normalising" antisemitism and reptilian conspiracy theories could only help spread the idea further.

"Antisemitism is a crime. There's no place for it in the Netherlands," she said.

Icke could still challenge the decision in court, "but it remains to be seen whether he will challenge the refusal himself," said Michel Reijinga of the Dutch protest group.

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