The Anunnaki, the Vampire,
and the Structure of Dissent
by Marcus LiBrizzi
<1> The latest incarnation
of the vampire - in the conspiracy theories of David Icke - reveals the critical,
revolutionary heart of the vampire legend. Discourse on the vampire appears
above all to provide a structure of dissent, a metaphorical means of representing
and soliciting critiques of the social order. The Anunnaki form of the vampire
- in its immersion in the constellation of contemporary conspiracy theories,
in its reflection on global capitalism, and in its blurring of historical and
fictional narratives - has moved this structure of dissent from the cloak of
darkness to the light of day.
<2> Considered by some
to be the reigning conspiracy theorist in the US, David Icke (who is British)
formulates his theories of a worldwide, age-old conspiracy around an extraterrestrial
race of beings called the Anunnaki. Self-styled the "most controversial
author and speaker in the world," David Icke has been subject to much ridicule
but has nonetheless become an industry, publishing eleven books, producing video
and audiotapes, embarking on a worldwide lecture circuit, and creating a website
that allegedly attracts 10,000 visitors a day (Canadian Par. 13). A former soccer
player from a working-class family, Icke became a household name in the UK as
a national sports and news reporter for the BBC and as the spokesperson for
the Green Party ("About" Par. 7-8). Starting a full-time writing career
in the early 1990s, Icke began with New Age inspired works like Truth Vibrations
(1991), which combines accounts of his self transformation with psychically-imparted
warnings on the imminent destruction of the earth, from there moving towards
conventional conspiracy theories, and finally, beginning with his 1999 book
The Biggest Secret, focusing his conspiracy theories around the Anunnaki
and their nefarious involvement in human history.
<3> The Anunnaki, whose
name is Sumerian, meaning "[t]hose who from Heaven to Earth Came"
(Icke 5), refer to a reptilian race that originated from the legendary planet
known as Nibiru (Planet X), or the place of the crossing, which has a 3,600
year elliptical orbit that takes it between Jupiter and Mars and then out into
space (5). For the past 450,000 years, according to Icke, the Anunnaki have
been ruling earth in different guises and from different dimensions. Through
genetic engineering, the Anunnaki have manipulated the evolution of humans as
a slave race. "[T]he Anunnaki created bloodlines to rule humanity on their
behalf," he writes, "and these [
] are the families still in
control of the world to this day" (9). The interbreeding of the rich and
powerful (primarily, for Icke, the European aristocracy and the Eastern Establishment
of the US) is not done for reasons of snobbery but rather "to hold a genetic
structure that gives them certain abilities, especially the ability to 'shape-shift'
and manifest in other forms" (9). Working with these crossbreeds are full-blooded
Anunnaki, some physically present on earth, others influencing individuals and
events psychically from what Icke calls "the lower fourth dimension"
(25). Forming a "Brotherhood" or secret society network, the Anunnaki
have effectively "hijack[ed] the planet" (46).
<4> The recurring motif
in the discourse on the Anunnaki is vampirism. In fact, so strong is this component
in their depiction that it's safe to say that Icke's work represents one of
the most recent developments in the discourse of the vampire. "While vampire
beliefs are varied," writes James Craig Holte, "certain elements of
the vampire myth are consistent. The most important are the inability to experience
death, the importance of blood, and the sexual connection between vampire and
victim" (246). Other structural similarities between the traditional vampire
and the Anunnaki include shape-shifting, hypnotism, and links to secret societies.
After establishing the Anunnaki as a manifestation of the vampire, we'll unpack
the implications of this figure, using the tools of a Marxist critical practice.
<5> The Anunnaki, like
traditional vampires, enjoy eternal or extenuated life spans. Icke claims that
"[t]he fourth dimensional reptilians wear their human bodies like a genetic
overcoat and when one body dies the same reptilian 'moves house' to another
body and continues the Agenda into another generation" (46). One type of
creature Icke describes is a reptilian "inside" a human physical body;
"[i]t seems that [
] [the Anunnaki] need to occupy a very reptilian
dominated genetic stream to do this, hence certain bloodlines always end up
in the positions of power. Other less pure crossbreed human-reptilians are those
bodies which are possessed by a reptilian consciousness from the fourth dimension
and these are people who psychics see as essentially human, but 'overshadowed'
by a reptilian" (46). Crossbreeding to infuse reptilian genetics into human
bloodlines, the Anunnaki gain the means to defy death, as we conceive it.
<6> In respect to blood
drinking, Icke is very clear: The Anunnaki drink blood, which they need in order
to exist in this dimension and hold a human form (288). Embedded in this need
lies another parallel between the Anunnaki and the figure of the vampire - the
power to shape-shift (from reptilian to human form for the Anunnaki, and usually
from vampire form to that of bat or even mist for the traditional vampire).
But the Anunnaki also feed off fear, aggression, and other negative emotions.
Thus, while blood is needed as a vital life force, the Anunnaki are also addicted
to "adrenalchrome," a hormone released in the human body during periods
of extreme terror (290, 331). Rather than sucking the blood directly from the
necks of their victims, the Anunnaki apparently slash the throats of their victims
from left to right and consume the blood out of goblets (303). Icke claims that
the origin of the vampire stories are the blood drinking and "energy sucking"
rituals of the Anunnaki (26). "In India," he writes, "it was
called soma and in Greece it was ambrosia, some researchers suggest. This was
said to be the nectar of the gods and it was - the reptilian gods who are genetic
blood drinkers" (288).
<7> In the sexual connection
between slayer and victim, the Anunnaki also share another similarity with the
traditional vampire. However, depictions of the Anunnaki by Icke contain none
of the erotic allure and seductiveness that distinguish many vampire texts.
Instead, the sexual bond between the Anunnaki and their victims is characterized
by violence - rape, murder, and Satanic ritual. "Satanism at its core is
about the manipulation and theft of another person's energy and consciousness,"
writes Icke, who states that "[s]ex is so common in Satanic ritual because
at the moment of orgasm, the body explodes with energy which the Satanists and
the reptiles can capture and absorb" (295). For Icke, of course, the demons
honored or appeased by satanic sex rituals are none other than the reptilian
Anunnaki (34). Sex is also a fundamental tool of the Anunnaki mind control program
and, more prosaically, it figures prominently as a means of blackmail. The picture
that emerges is one involving vast networks of sexual abuse and ritual murder
- graphic accounts of satanic practices at the playgrounds for world leaders,
such as the Bohemian Grove, a 2,700 acre compound north of San Francisco - mass
graves for victims drained of their blood and libidinal energies - and the cultivation
of sexual crimes to create an energy field that nourishes these rapacious ETs.
<8> There are other
shared traits between the traditional vampire and the Anunnaki, for example,
the role of secret societies. One of Icke's chief contributions to the discourse
on the vampire lies in his immersion of this figure into a vast web of clandestine
organizations, from ancient mystery schools and cults like the Brotherhood of
the Snake to the Knights Templar and the Masonic Order, from global entities
like the UN, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations
to drug cartels, satanic churches, and the Black Nobility. A keystone in this
architecture of conspiracy is the Order of Draco, which conjures up the most
famous of all vampires - Count Dracula - and underscores his demonic, draconian,
and reptilian associations. "According to [Laurence] Gardner, the name
Dracula means 'Son of Dracul' and was inspired by Prince Vlad III of Transylvania-Wallachia,
a chancellor of the Court of the Dragon in the 15th century. This prince's father
was called Dracul within the Court" (56). In their network of secret societies,
of which the Order of Draco is but a single manifestation, the Anunnaki highlight
the conspiratorial dimension of all vampires. Finally, the Anunnaki share with
the traditional vampire the capacity to hypnotize: Icke writes that reptilian
bloodlines "have the ability to produce an extremely powerful hypnotic
stare, just like a snake hypnotizing its prey and this is the origin of giving
someone the 'evil eye'" (42).
<9> Icke's paradigm
displays more than the vitality, persistence, and adaptive qualities of the
vampire legend. His theories reveal the dissident energies contained already
in the vampire legacy.
<10> To begin with,
Icke's work represents a major fusion of the vampire cult and the field of conspiracy
theories. Richard Hofstadter, in his famous essay "The Paranoid Style in
American Politics" (1963) claims that the "distinguishing thing about
the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here
and there in history, but that they regard a 'vast' [
] conspiracy as the
motive force in historical events. History is a conspiracy" (29). Conspiracies,
even when they're not construed as vast, over-arching plots, however, have an
internal, integrative logic. In other words, there is a momentum in conspiracy
theories to pull in all other theories, and finally to arrive at a state in
which everything is connected. Part of Icke's popularity lies in his
ability to integrate most contemporary American conspiracy theories into one
over-arching framework. Situated squarely in the center of this design is the
ancient figure of the vampire. Thus, the vampire (or, more specifically, the
Anunnaki Vampire) has colonized the field of conspiracy theories - government-sponsored
alien cover-ups, the New World Order, suspicious deaths, the secret government,
suppressed research, the intrigues of the CIA, and the list goes on indefinitely.
<11> From a Marxist
perspective, of course, this development is more than just a formal or aesthetic
innovation, for many of the conspiracy theories now circulating in the cultural
medium of the US contain, at their core, critical, dissenting, and rebellious
points of view (encompassing both extreme right and left) that are articulated
in opposition to the social, political, and cultural status quo. While Hofstadter
claims that the US has no monopoly on conspiricism, other scholars like Peter
Knight hold that conspiracy theories hold an indispensable place in American
ideology formation, and that current "conspiracy theories can be read in
part as panicked responses to the increasing multiculturalism and globalization
of the present" (5). Revolutionary or reactionary, however, these theories
are inimical to the governing elite and represent a tradition of oppositional
practice. As Knight puts it, "conspiracy theory has become the lingua franca
of a countercultural opposition that encompasses a vast spectrum of political
thinking from the committed to the casual" (6-7).
<12> An initial difficulty
in seeing the vampire as a symbol of the ruling class - capitalist or otherwise
- lies in the diverse variations taken on by vampires in different places and
times. As Brian Frost puts it, "the vampire is a polymorphic phenomenon
with a host of disparate guises to its credit" (1). Among the various legendary
"guises" of the vampire inventoried by Frost are spirit vampires,
astral vampires, psychic vampires, animal vampires, and real-life vampires who
are "sadistic criminals [
] urged on by a physical craving for blood"
(15). Complicating the picture is the fact that Bram Stoker's character of Count
Dracula, who for many encapsulates the aristocratic ethos of the vampire, "lacks
precisely what makes a man 'noble': servants. Dracula stoops to driving the
carriage, cooking the meals, making the beds, cleaning the castle" (Moretti
90). Furthermore, in some of the earliest European vampire legends, the undead
feed off the living members of their own families (Murgoci 18), which at first
glance mitigates the social-class dynamic often conjured up in the image of
aristocratic vampires draining the lifeblood of their locals.
<13> There is, nevertheless,
a critical and even radical dimension to the figure of the vampire, who, as
a parasite, circulates as a political metaphor. The word vampire has
from the start been used in oppositional literature as a symbol of an exploiting
class, government, industry, or institution. A decade "after the introduction
of the word 'vampire' in an English publication in 1732, (an account of the
investigation of Arnold Paul in Serbia) [
] [a] serious utilization of
the vampire as a political metaphor occurred in Observations on the Revolution
of 1688 ([
] published in 1741)" which identified foreign investors
as "'Vampires of the Publick'" (Melton 538). Only "[a] few years
later, in 1764, Voltaire, in his Philosophical Dictionary," refers
to "vampires" as "'stock-jobbers, brokers, and men of business
who sucked the blood of the people in broad daylight'" (538).
<14> But it was Marx
who first suggested that the vampire can be interpreted as a metaphor of capitalism
and who also implied a method for this interpretation. In volume one of Capital
(1867), he writes that "[c]apital is dead labour, which, vampire-like,
lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it
sucks" (342). Extrapolating on this analogy, Franco Moretti provides a
reading of Bram Stoker's Dracula, writing, "If the vampire is a
metaphor for capital, then Stoker's vampire, who is of 1897, must be the capital
of 1897" (92). Accordingly, Moretti sees Count Dracula as the expression
or figure of monopoly capitalism, which, to the 19th century bourgeoisie, could
not be recognized as an emerging force but only as a relic of the past displaced
into the present (93). Whether or not one agrees with Moretti's reading of the
Count, it is his method that's of most value. As Rob Latham pus it, "Moretti
stresses that, while the vampire is a perfect general image for the basic mechanism
of capitalist development, individual vampire texts illuminate specifically
the historical phases of capitalism in which they are produced" (129).
<15> Applying Moretti's
method, we can perceive the Anunnaki as metaphorical of the unique forms capitalism
has taken by the 21st century. Certainly, Anunnaki vampires embody the market
for genetic engineering as well as space exploration. These dimensions, in fact,
are projected back into the origins of Anunnaki control over earth and its resources:
travel from another planet, interdimensional traffic, and a crossbreeding agenda
coterminous with the evolution of the human race. Anunnaki vampires also control
finance, which was undergoing a tremendous transformation and development during
the time when Icke was writing that, of all the spheres of Anunnaki domination,
"[t]he most important [
] in terms of control, is banking" (207).
Electronic banking, credit, and the demediation of stock exchange through on-line
trading are some of the key elements in the recent development of the finance
industry (Castells 152-53). But we can go deeper than this kind of analysis,
and discover in the discourse on the Anunnaki examples of remarkable changes,
not in select markets, but rather in the very structure of the economy.
<16> In this, more significant
sense, the Anunnaki are linked to present-day capitalism through their association
with global control. Icke consistently depicts these alien bloodsuckers as monopolizing
world leadership positions in government, finance, religion, and the media.
In this sense, Anunnaki vampires represent a demonized expression of the unique
form capitalism has taken during the very period in which Icke's theories were
formulated, published, and popularized. The late 1990s issued in - for the first
time in history - a global economy, defined by Manuel Castells as "an
economy whose core components have the institutional, organizational, and technological
capacity to work as a unit in real time, or in chosen time, on a planetary scale"
(102). Thus, "this is a new brand of capitalism, technologically, organizationally,
and institutionally distinct" (160-61).
<17> The forces spearheading
this change derive in part from key industries, notably information technology
- centering on the Internet - finance, and biotechnology (Castells 161). Other
contributing factors in the formation of the global economy are government policies
that restructured capitalism through laws deregulating and liberalizing economic
activity (148). The global economy has, of course, catapulted the scale of capitalism;
"for the first time in history the whole planet is capitalist or dependent
on its connection to global capitalist networks" (160-61). However, as
Castells points out, the global economy "is not a planetary economy [
[because] it does not embrace all economic processes in the planet, it does
not include all territories, and it does not include all people in its workings,
although it does affect directly or indirectly the livelihood of all humankind"
(132). Thus the global economy is significant, not only for it inclusivity,
but also for its significant and shifting exclusions, marginalizations, and
hidden bypasses fraught through its great grid or network of power relations.
<18> Anunnaki vampires
are perfectly suited to, and a perfect representation of, a global economy in
the scope of their engagement and their profile in emergent industries, but
there are other ways as well. This is because their secret agenda has always
already been the creation of a one-world government - a New World Order - bypassing
nations and creating a system or web from which there is no escape. The New
World Order figures prominently in conspiracy theories and in literature such
as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932) and George Orwell's Nineteen
Eighty-Four (1949). But during the millenium and start of the 21st century,
demonstrations against globalism have been on the rise, responding to rapid
developments in transnationalism. Another aspect of the Anunnaki relevant here
is their multicultural image. The Anunnaki have been written retroactively into
all mythological systems, making them true transnationals. For example, they
people the pages of the Indian Vedas, Babylonian myths, as well as the
books of the Bible, and they are at the heart of ancient snake-worshipping cults
worldwide. Moreover, they are literally seeded into the human genome through
the Anunnaki engineering of the race, interbreeding alien genetics into all
peoples, symbolized, for example in Genesis, as the saliva Jehovah mixes
with clay to form the first man.
<19> Not surprisingly,
Anunnaki narratives have a lot to say in terms of the location, construction,
and commodification of the self. Unlike traditional vampires who feed solely
off a victim's blood or soul, the Anunnaki thrive off of negative energies such
as fear and aggression. These ETs drain individuals of their sense of wellbeing
through the manipulation and absorption of libidinal energies and - ultimately
- the theft of consciousness and agency. On the one hand, the location of the
self that the Anunnaki attack seems closely linked to consumerist notions. For
example, New Age self-actualization products as well as the market for energy
drinks - even caffeine-enhanced water - not to mention designer drugs - are
only a few of the new industries catering profitably to the very malady Icke
derives from Anunnaki domination. And, of course, Icke's works themselves represent
a (profitable) venture in a multi-million dollar market for conspiracy theories
in American popular culture. On the other hand, discourse on the Anunnaki is
not necessarily complicit with the capitalist system that produces such effects.
A current line of cultural theory "has alleged that the modalities of consumer
culture - and the forms of subjectivity they enable - do not necessarily integrate
seamlessly into the capitalist society which has mobilized them but may instead
be potentially subversive of its purposes" (Latham 132). The consumption
of Icke's works - in fact, the growing market for conspiracism in the US - would
seem to be a case in point here, disseminating and perpetuating an oppositional
worldview, a "hermeneutics of suspicion," while contributing to the
accumulation of capital.
<20> Another revealing
dimension of Anunnaki vampires lies in their collective depiction; unlike many
accounts of the vampire, Icke's theories do not revolve around distinct Anunnaki
individuals but rather focuses on them as a class or group; in this sense the
Anunnaki do not convey the same individualistic focus so often encountered in
vampire narratives. Even Anunnaki forms of consciousness are best described
as a "groupthink" mentality. On this, Icke writes that "[t]he
reptilians seek [
] to influence everyone by stimulating the behavioral
patterns of the reptile region of the brain - hierarchical thinking, aggression,
conflict, division, lack of compassion and a need for ritual" (46). Symbolic
of contemporary capitalism, this collective depiction of the Anunnaki reflects
the rise of networks, and their decentering development, which have instrumentally
caused - and are themselves produced by - the new global economy. The network
supersedes the individual as the subject of the vampire narrative. Here Castells,
speaking on the network society of global economics, is instructive: "For
the first time in history, the basic unit of economic organization is not a
subject, be it individual (such as the entrepreneur [
]) or collective
(such as the capitalist class, the corporation, the state)" (214). Instead,
"the unit is the network, made up of a variety of subjects and organizations,
relentlessly modified as networks adapt" (214).
<21> In their networked,
post-subjective form of the vampire, the Anunnaki are metaphorical of the precise
trajectory assumed by contemporary capitalism. Network is the same term
Icke uses to describe the reptilian base of operations today, writing "[a]fter
thousands of years of evolution, the reptilian network is now a vast and often
unfathomable web of interconnecting secret societies, banks, businesses, political
parties, security agencies, media owners, and so on" (259). Discourse on
the Anunnaki vampire is in step with broader trends in American conspiracy theories,
themselves responses to ideological crises associated with post-modernism and
the growth of a network society. Writing on conspiracy theories in the postwar
US, Timothy Melley points out that "the term 'conspiracy' rarely signifies
a small, secret plot any more. Instead, it frequently refers to the workings
of a large organization, technology, or system, a powerful
and obscure entity so dispersed that it is the very antithesis of the traditional
conspiracy" (59). Melley argues that conspiracy theories in the US have
historically been an ideological means of validating individualism. And this
new, impersonal breed of conspiracism reflects anxiety over the loss of individuality
and agency and stands as both "an acknowledgment, and rejection, of postmodern
<22> Perhaps most revealing
of all is the dissolution of the boundary between fantasy and reality - the
presentation of the vampire as an historical agent rather than a fictional character.
Deeply ironic and radical, this slippage of fact and fantasy drives the vampire
legacy much closer to its critical core. If the traditional vampire articulates
dissent, it also distorts the representation of real relations, which are displaced
into the realm of the imaginary. In the form of the Anunnaki, however, vampires
have infiltrated the field of conspiracy theories, spilling from the page onto
the pavement, as it were. Moving from metaphor to a kind of mimesis of the grotesque,
the vampire legacy shape-shifts - its implicit charge evolving into an
"About David Icke, the
Man, His Philosophy, and His Work." N.d. Online. Internet. 3 January 2003.
Available http://web.archive.org/web/20041125064006/http://www.davidicke.com/icke/index1a.html (The author's original link here no longer works; I've taken the liberty of substituting this one - BL)
Canadian Association for Free
Expression. "David Icke's Telling the Truth Archives: Conspiracies, CoverUps,
Truths, Facts, Oddities, Research: Dante's Infernal Guide to Human Rights and
Wrongs." N.d. Online. Internet. 3 January 2003. Available http://mysite.users2.50megs.com/research/dantesguide.html
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