My Skeptical Origin Story
by Josh DeWald
April 4, 2014
When I first encountered the Internet as a teenager, I became quickly fascinated by the notion that "they" were running the world, and leaving signs of their presence. It wasn't clear who exactly "they" were but the group certainly included:
Naturally these groups weren't all necessarily fighting, but were interrelated as part of a grand conspiracy. The Freemasons were actually formed from the remnants of the Templars and were a cornerstone (wink wink) of the plot to bring about the New World Order (reminiscent links:here and here).
It was within reason that not all Freemasons were in on it, really just those who had attained the vaunted 33rd degree. Plausible deniability after all. I once purchased, still own in fact, the book "Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike. The book is filled with lots of Egyptian symbolism. When I bought it, the book store owner told me that I was lucky to have found it because every time they had a copy freemasons would come and take all the copies. I felt lucky to have somehow gotten my hands on a part of the Big Secret. Authorized reprints are now readily available.
I would follow link after link detailing how there were messages "hidden in plain sight" signaling membership in this elite New World Order conspiracy. My hard drive (small at the time) quickly filled up with pages saved — never knew when "they" might take down the sites! — for posterity. The Freemasonic/Satanic design of the Washington, D.C streets.
I was fascinated to read about how the paths around St. Peter's Basilica were really a symbol for the 8-Wheel Path or 8-Fold Path, which was definitely part of the demonic conspiracy (and also, of course, the New World Order).
I followed these paths deeper and deeper, saving more and more pages to my computer. Drawing more and more diagrams. Seeing patterns in everything.
I revelled in the 90s-era walls of text.
Then I encountered David Icke.
He said — says — that the ruling families are all linked by a common bloodline. Ok. Satan is involved (he's reptilian right?) as well. And we're all being mind controlled through chemtrails and the computer chips implanted in us. Oh wait, forget to mention: that common ruling bloodline is actually from ancient shape-shifting reptiles who are running the world (recent Video). What's interesting is that he first published this theory around 1999, so I discovered it right in the nick of time.
Slow down there.
Was this the inevitable endpoint of the path I was on? He could present a convincing pattern-matched argument based on ancient worldwide religions and artistic renderings of sightings.
But it was just so absurd.
I think I walked off the "path" right then.
Thinking back on it now, in theory I could have simply stepped back a bit and said "oh, wrong turn", but something inside me told me that all of it was just intricate pattern matching. This was what happened when really intelligent people with focused brains got a hold of media. They find patterns, even if the relationships are not really there. Pareidolia. And some of them take it a step further.
In case you think David Icke is just a random guy with.. interesting.. ideas, he's actually rather popular. In 2013 he played Wembley arena
And so this is my thank you to David Icke, and all those other Internet pioneers, for putting me onto the path of Skepticism. It was actually a good 10 years after that moment before I actually identified with Skepticism, following numerous other changes in worldview and outlook on life.
One of the more frustrating attacks that the alternative medicine, New Age, pseudoscience, etc crowd makes is that Skeptics are "close minded" and "not open to new experience." This is baloney. A good number, if not most, self-identifying Skeptics are those that came from a "non-Skeptical" worldview but who were willing to change their mind in the face of evidence of lack thereof. They were willing to follow the evidence to where it lead. They were willing to say "Boy was I wrong." Quickly followed by "But that's ok, I learned something." Skepticism and science are about that process of learning as new information comes in. Sure, there is a general "consensus," but that's simply a summary of what the current information seems to point to. Always up to change.
UPDATE: I previously said Wembley stadium, but commenter Ralph Taylor pointed out that it was in the arena, which has a capacity of 12,000, not the 90,000 the stadium has. The point still stands that Icke is popular enough to fill a decent-sized area, but there is still an order of magnitude difference.
by Josh DeWald
@Skeptoid Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit