David Wilcock hasn’t been having a very good couple of years. Only a few years ago, he was the third most prominent ancient astronaut theorist on Ancient Aliens, behind Giorgio Tsoukalos and David Childress, and he was one of the biggest stars of the Gaia TV streaming service, which featured hundreds of hours of programming from him. He also had a lucrative line of books and DVDs and a speaking tour. But then Wilcock made the critical error of turning subtext into text. With the exception of Tsoukalos, nearly all of the Ancient Aliens crew and their colleagues are right-wingers, but they manage to keep their conservative ranting mostly confined to short asides in YouTube videos and tweets. Wilcock, on the other hand, has been outspoken in his embrace of the most extreme pro-Trump conspiracy theories, including both Pizzagate and Q-Anon, and he has proudly declared himself a recipient of Russian propaganda, which he repeats uncritically. Between this and his contentious departure from Gaia, even the brain trust behind Ancient Aliens finally cut ties with Wilcock, who has not appeared on the show since Wilcock refused to participate in their episode interviewing John Podesta, whom Wilcock considers part of an anti-Trump, child-raping alien death cult.
As Wilcock’s platforms have collapsed around him, his claims have become more extreme as he “programs to the base” and attempts to develop a smaller but more intensely loyal audience for his self-produced products. In his latest blog post, whose six parts form a 51,000-word eBook, Wilcock has fully embraced the Q-Anon conspiracy theory, and he has extended it to the recent efforts by YouTube to clean up the video-sharing service by altering its algorithm to display fewer conspiracy theory videos. Wilcock has declared this action to be the work of the “Deep State.” “And, as we so often like and need to do,” he wrote, “this initial phase of the story will expand into a vastly more interesting mega-conspiracy as you read on.” Oh, don’t they all.
Over the past year or so, YouTube has come under fire from a wide range of advocacy groups and law enforcement agencies for its algorithms, which by design direct viewers to progressively more extreme content in the hope of keeping viewers watching for as long as possible. This resulted in many viewers being directed to white nationalist content, extreme conspiracy theories, and content that sexualized young children. YouTube officials took steps to reduce the prominence of this content earlier this year after a wave of negative stories in the media. They did not eliminate the content, but they made it harder to stumble across unknowingly, and they also removed advertising revenue from some videos that did not meet their decency standards.
In his massive blog post last week, Wilcock likens this action to the music industry, which he accuses of deliberately killing off rock-n-roll for nefarious reasons, leaving only … Papa Roach? “Since the 1990s, there has been little to no financing, development, promotion or exposure of new rock bands of any real prominence, other than a handful of examples like Papa Roach,” he wrote, nonsensically. I hesitate even to begin to think about what is going on inside Wilcock’s head, particularly since we know that he remains fixated on what he called his traumas and mental illness during his adolescence in the 1990s, as he chronicled in The Ascension Mysteries. This might seem like a laughably silly digression on Wilcock’s part, but one of his overarching if wrongheaded themes is that pro- and anti-alien conspiracy theorists use popular culture products to deliver secret messages to the public. He typically associates this with science fiction movies and TV shows (he believes the series finale of Game of Thrones was a psy-op conspiracy, for example), but here he extends the idea to music acts beloved by himself and his father, a onetime music critic. Music he doesn’t like becomes part of an evil conspiracy. In this case, he follows some conspiracy theories suggesting that elites purposely designed hip-hop to promote criminal behavior in order to oppress African Americans.
Anyway, after his long digression, Wilcock actually admits the truth, albeit without realizing it: “I admit it. I neglected YouTube like an absentee, phone-in father. Success occurred in spite of my actions, not because of them,” he said. Now, however, he is angry about YouTube. Why? Because his other platforms have been cut off, and he now needs YouTube to stay in the public eye, only to discover that the extremist material he promotes no longer fits with YouTube’s corporate agenda.
Note: Wilcock claims that he does not have or need money, despite earlier appeals for cash. “If I had really wanted to ‘Make Money,’” he writes, “I could have / would have / should have done a hell of a lot more than I was doing, like running multi-city conference tours… but I was fine with the quiet life of an artist.” And also with those big Ancient Aliens and Gaia-TV paychecks and perks.
Wilcock discovered that in his absence, hustlers had copied his YouTube videos to their own channels and added links to sleazy content, including child pornography, sometimes marked with a “blue avian” character that he believes to be a space alien. Wilcock claims that the copied videos cost him “millions” in revenue, though I can only imagine this to be an exaggeration. On the other hand, there are college-age kids on YouTube bringing in seven-figure incomes from YouTube, so there may well be enough racists and blinkered mystics watching to generate that kind of money. He was also angry that other people were uploading his radio appearances, though he had difficulty understanding that he did not own the radio shows where he was a guest and therefore did not hold the copyright. This angered him even more because he felt that his promotional interviews diluted the market for his paid content. He quit doing any media he couldn’t 100% control and monetize, except for Jimmy Church and George Noory’s radio shows, since they are famously litigious and keep their audio behind paywalls.
Most of this material dates back to 2016 and was previously reported in one of Wilcock’s earlier rambling blog posts. But what’s new now is the explicit xenophobia and rightwing hate. Wilcock now claims, for example, that conspiracy run by “blue avian” space aliens is also in league with “Muslims,” an idea he developed from Corey Goode: “Corey Goode had asserted on our show that the alleged ‘Blue Avian’ ETs had also helped the Muslims. Notice that the little Blue Avian guy in the above illustration has a Muslim prayer cap on.”
Beyond this, the “new” content in Wilcock’s blog post surrounds his claim that YouTube removed 5.75 million videos featuring him, a seemingly impossible claim. He bases this on a Google search for his name for the YouTube site (not a YouTube internal search), and he assumes that the results represent unique videos featuring or about him, though the results actually indicate only pages that feature some combination of the words “David” and “Wilcock.” The most logical explanation is that YouTube’s pruning of spam comments and spam videos reduced the prevalence of spam using his name, an inexplicably popular sub-genre of YouTube spam. More importantly, the removal of such videos and comments meant that links to Wilcock videos don’t appear on as many other pages, further reducing the total. Wilcock’s own official videos haven’t been touched, so what is he mad about? He said he wanted the foreign fakes and spam uploads removed, and now he is upset that YouTube complied.
Wilcock considers it a “Deep State” conspiracy:
This is clearly Deep State-level stuff. It’s just too big, too fast, too wild to even believe, and yet it actually happened. Videos don’t just disappear this fast. It’s crazy. Craziest of all, if they can do this, on such short notice, that means they can do anything: Reduce view counts, eliminate subscribers, turn off Notifications, demonetize, shadow-ban, deepfake, you name it…
What’s especially strange, however, is that once a business decision personally affects Wilcock’s bottom line, he suddenly abandons his pose as a conservative culture warrior and spouts anti-capitalist rhetoric that would make Bernie Sanders blush, attacking the executives of Google and YouTube for their obscene wealth and how they use their power to restrict how much wealth others can accumulate. He rants now about how much he hated George W. Bush and the “cartels” behind him.
But as soon as his attention turns away from his own personal travails, he jumps back into defending the most extreme rightwing YouTubers and demanding that support for Donald Trump be prominently featured on YouTube even when it includes white nationalism and homophobia. He rants about how Republican perspectives are facing “complete blockage” from left-leaning techno-fascists. He then adds that Democrats, the (anti-Trump) Deep State, and tech billionaires are planning a “population-reducing” program of fast food and poisoned vaccines to kill off large chunks of the population. He goes on to discuss how major social media platforms are run by a cabal of international bankers, and he draws on the anti-Semitic tropes that previously led him to accuse the Rothschild banking family of attempting to assassinate him. Trump, he declares, is a hero standing up to the (Jewish) bankers and globalists as well as the child-raping liberal Illuminati. Given Trump’s embrace of Israel and its prime minister in particular, this claim is something of a hard sell.
The last third of his blog post / eBook endorses every bizarre aspect of the Q-Anon conspiracy theory and then attempts to link it to Tom DeLonge and To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, which he sees as fighting a battle against the Deep State to reveal the truth about … well, not quite UFOs. Wilcock picks up on DeLonge’s embrace of the ancient astronaut theory to argue that the real truth is that space aliens are also fallen angels and that they had an outpost in Atlantis from which they meddled in human affairs, sort of like super-Russians plotting a thousand Trumps.
It’s all too much, really. The volume of his conspiracy theories is mind-numbing, but the ease with which he abandons his supposed beliefs as soon as they become inconvenient is all too typical. He believes that he has a right to have major corporations promote his belief that they are all run by child-raping demon aliens, and he is mad that the corporations have decided not to put up with him anymore.
On a sadder note, Wilcock said that he has “very few acquaintances” apart from his family, his manager, and his “creative team.” That he describes none of them as friends is perhaps sadder than realizing that there is a “creative team” behind his seemingly dada verbal diarrhea.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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