By Zach Hagadone
Originally published at Boise Weekly
Northern Idaho residents were appalled when news broke March 6 that popular local pastor Tim Remington, 55, had been shot 12 times in the parking lot of his church, less than 24 hours after speaking at a rally for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and even praying with the presidential hopeful.
Coeur d’Alene residents were relieved on March 7, when it was announced Remington, who serves The Altar Church, would survive. But they were thereafter shocked the next day when they learned that the suspect, Kyle Odom, 30, of Coeur d’Alene, was arrested by Secret Service agents outside the White House, where he was found throwing written materials over a fence.
On March 9, neighbors were baffled, when the contents of a series of documents reputedly authored by Odom and mailed to regional media—as well as his family—were revealed.
In the documents, Odom—an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, magna cum laude graduate of University of Idaho and former student at Baylor College of Medicine, where he was pursuing a doctorate in human genetics—describes a nightmare descent into paranoia, including an experience of metaphysical transcendence that opened him to mental assaults by what he called “a species of amphibian-humanoid from Mars” whose members were masquerading as “wild humans,” everywhere from the classrooms of North Idaho College to airline flights to, eventually and tragically, The Altar.
Read Odom’s full manifesto here:
While Odom’s writings are bizarre, and he has been said to have suffered mental health problems, they tap into a rich vein of conspiracy thinking that is shared—to varying extents—by perhaps millions of people around the world.
A race of reptilian creatures secretly controlling all aspects of society is an idea that has been widely circulated since at least the early 1990s and popularized by British New Age figure David Icke. It is unclear whether Odom was directly influenced by Icke’s ideas, but the similarities between what Odom described and what Icke promotes via well-attended public speaking events are unmistakable.
In an all-day 2014 presentation to a purported 6,000 audience members at Wembley Arena in London, Icke laid out what he believes is the global—if not multi-dimensional—oppression facing humanity. In his philosophy, which he bases on a mix of quantum physics, energy-field theory, geopolitics, and both ancient and modern mysticism, Icke suggests inter-dimensional beings have for millennia altered humans’ perception of reality by first manipulating energy frequencies coming from space, then human genetics.
These beings—who Icke claims are the true forces behind all religious deities—use reptilian-human hybrids to do their bidding, using everything from psychic manipulation to the banking industry to turn humanity into a collection of slaves.
In his manifesto, Odom echoed similar fears, claiming he was systematically attacked mentally by people who were not what they seemed. For instance, he described an encounter with an “older gentlemen” on a flight from Houston to Spokane.
“As he kept looking back, my head began to hurt and tingle,” Odom wrote. “The moment my head began to hurt, his lips curled up into this evil looking smile. … About halfway through the flight, someone else in front of me held up a newspaper that said ‘Psychic Reading’ for like 5 minutes. It was blatantly obvious they were doing something to me, but I didn’t know what.”
According to Odom’s account, about a month after his experience on the plane, he was contacted by pastor John Padula, who invited him to attend The Altar. Odom wrote that when he arrived at the church, “Something felt very wrong. I felt as if my life was in danger and I became so uncomfortable I had to leave.”
Later communication with Remington increased Odom’s misgivings. After receiving a text message from Remington that read “angels,” Odom wrote, “Helicopters started flying around my house all day and all night.”
Following that, Odom wrote about experiencing a series of “hypersexual” occurrences, including “unnatural erections” and a sexually charged song that wouldn’t stop playing in his head. He also wrote of having intense religious ideas that threw him into a panic. He fled to Albuquerque, N.M., to be with his family, but wrote of being pursued even there by strange people who communicated telepathically and “sniffed” him.
“This sniff is something they do all the time,” Odom wrote. “I think it has something to do with dominance.”
In Icke’s view, the reptilians, in part, draw their power from the enlargement of the so-called “reptilian” part of the human brain, which he says controls territoriality and causes “a desire to control; an obsession with hierarchical structures of power. Aggression; might is right, winner take all.”
In his “Q&A,” sent among the other materials he mailed, Odom outlined similar traits for reptilians, as well as claimed the creatures were responsible for “the God myth.”
Eventually, Odom came to believe the reptilians were threatening his family, “which caused me to give in to them,” he wrote. Their demand: “‘Go to church.’”
After returning to Coeur d’Alene from New Mexico, Odom wrote he attended The Altar, where “people acted very strange. It was unhuman.”
“As I walked into the sermon room, everyone stared at me and began sniffing emphatically. Needless to say, I was scared as hell, but I took a seat,” he wrote, later describing a man who sat beside him. “After he sat down, I began smelling something. It was a smell I had never smelt before. The only thing I can compare it to is a reptile and vinegar.”
After experiencing an escalating series of what he described as telepathic sexual and physical assaults, Odom wrote that he attempted to commit suicide by lighting a charcoal grill in his car and inhaling the fumes. Waking up in a panic, he sought help from the VA but wrote that none of the treatments he received there helped. Upon leaving the VA, he wrote, he returned to The Altar for a meeting with Remington, who Odom claimed revealed himself to be a reptilian.
“I have no clue how he did it, but it looked as if his human face became his real face,” Odom wrote. “It happened for only 1-2 seconds, but I was able to draw a sketch of what I saw.”
In the sketch, which accompanied the materials Odom mailed following his shooting of Remington, he recorded his description as “huge and bulging” eyes with dark green eyelids. “The irises were yellow/brown with slit pupils,” he wrote.
Odom’s reptilian sketch features a cone-shaped head and “projecting muzzle with 45-degree angled nostrils.” It is a description that matches both Icke’s visual aids and the physical characteristics of “reptoids” from the website reptoids.com, which includes “a slightly large, slightly back sloping cranium (sometimes appearing conical).”
Another common thread between Odom’s and Icke’s descriptions of reptilian domination comes from the belief that the moon is a hollowed out base, used by the creatures to amplify their powers. While Icke believes their headquarters is on Saturn, Odom wrote that they come from Mars.
In concluding his narrative, Odom claimed he had been targeted because “I was too smart for my own good.”
“They were worried I might change the way people think, which could lead to problems. Problems in the form of scientific revolutions,” he wrote. “If we get much smarter as a species, we are going to become a threat to their existence.”
Likewise, Icke told his Wembley audience in 2014 that—according to a supposed communication with an otherworldly entity—“a reptilian race was holding back humans so they couldn’t ‘grow.’”
Odom found he could not continue his schooling at NIC, distracted and harassed as he was by the “absolute torture” he felt he was experiencing from his attackers. At that point, he wrote, “My last resort was to take actions to bring this to the public’s attention.”
That action was to attempt the murder of Remington, who he had come to believe was not a human.
Icke has faced widespread criticism and even legal action based on his reptilian theories, which many have challenged not only as nonsense but linked to antisemitism, as Icke has spoken of reptilian “bloodlines” extending out from the ancient Near East and manifested today the international banking elite and state of Israel—Odom, like Icke, suggested a wide range of Israeli politicians are secretly reptilians.
Icke was successfully sued for libel by Canadian human rights lawyer Richard Warman after Icke accused of him of being a Satanic child murderer. Accusations of antisemitism also led to Icke’s detention in Canada by immigration authorities.
Despite the tragedy in Coeur d’Alene and the controversies surrounding Icke, the reptilian conspiracy theory is more mainstream than might be expected. According to a 2013 survey of conspiracy theories by Public Policy Polling, 12.4 million Americans (about 4 percent), believe reptilians or “lizard people” control politics. Icke and other believers in the reptilian domination theory have been guests on the radio program Coast to Coast, and similar ideas can be found in so-called “ancient alien” literature and television series.
“It’s a bamboozle,” Icke said at Wembley in 2014. “It’s a mind program.”
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