We need to start claming the word "Skeptic"

The recent debate on Thom Hartman's show between Kevin Ryan and Michael Shermer of the Skeptics Society got me thinking....

He and his kind, when it comes to 9/11, are not the skeptics. We are!

That's fine for "skeptics" to organize and debunk UFOs, Bigfoot, fortune tellers, and so on. But for them to hold the government's mythology as being rational and the 9/11 truth movement being a wacko consipiracy theory to defend is indefensible. I've had conversations with people who refuse to listen to questioning about 9/11 because they think of themselves as "skeptics" - they can't see the irony in that statement!

We are the skeptics here, and we need to start using that term for ourselves. In our websites, literature, lectures, and conversations, we need to use the word skeptic and related words like skeptical, questioning, not believing, not being convinced, doubting, disbelieving, challenging, and inquiry.

Language is very important, because it triggers mental models in the person hearing the words. (Many progressives are probably familiar with George Lakoff's work on "framing" as described in books like Don't Think of an Elephant.)

If we start to take over this language as much as possible, then the so-called "skeptics" (who are the unconscious believers of the government's story) may start to unravel.

The original term WAS 9/11 skeptic!

And I always use it whenever encountering the "bedunkers" who limit their "skepticism" to superficial denigration (by attack-the-messenger tactics) of any idea contrary to the "official conspiracy theory" (generally without any empirical analysis). You are right - don't let them shift the terminology to their own favor, always challenge it and make them use facts, not terms, if they want to make a case for their own beliefs.

As an example I'll use my own website from June 2002, osamaskidneys.com (defunct but archived). I was one of many at the time referring to "9/11 skeptics," before the later coinage of 9/11 truth (to describe the political movement) came into fashion in 2004, and I coined the slogan, "9/11 skeptics unite" (later appropriated by Nico Haupt for some time).




What is the true story of the Sept. 11 attacks?

We do not know, because it is shrouded in secrecy. But thousands of 9/11 Skeptics on the Internet have used evidence from the mainstream and foreign press to demonstrate beyond doubt that the official story is incomplete, inconsistent and rife with lies. In March and April 2002, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) became the first American politician on the federal level to question the official story and suggest that elements of the U.S. government may have known of the attacks in advance. On May 16, the White House was forced to admit receiving warnings, in the months before Sept. 11, of a Qaeda plot to hijack airliners in the United States. This admission was coupled with the claim that no one in the administration could have guessed that these planes would be used in suicide attacks - a demonstrable falsehood. Since then, many revelations from government agencies have corroborated the 9/11 Skeptics' claims that pre-Sept. 11 investigations by the FBI, which might have prevented the attacks, were obstructed from within the government. The government also confirmed that the war in Afghanistan was prepared in advance of Sept. 11, and that a finished plan for the war was presented to George W. Bush two days before the attacks on New York and Washington. By then, large British and American forces had already arrived or were underway to the Central Asian theater. In an effort at damage control, the revelations of the past month have been limited. Congressional investigators and the mainstream U.S. media have made little effort to connect the dots logically, which would yield an even more troubling picture of the government's actions at the highest levels. Attention has focused instead on middle-level "failures" of bureaucracy and analysis, with an accompanying campaign to justify more radical surveillance and police measures and the creation of a new Homeland Security Department. But the revelations have served to support many of the cardinal assertions of the oft-maligned 9/11 Skeptics movement. On June 10, C-SPAN refused to broadcast a major press conference in Washington organized by former government officials, relatives of 9/11 victims and investigative journalists, who posed vital "Unanswered Questions" about the attacks and their true background. This setback was predictable; the issue is still too controversial for the mainstream media. 9/11 Skeptics should not therefore despair. The time has come for skeptics to unite, to speak openly, to stay loud and proud, and to employ creative, determined and peaceful means with heart and humor, to force disclosure of the full story of the Sept. 11 attacks. History is with us!*

(* that last sentence: ugh drama)

"Truth is not measured in mass appeal."

Was going to say--"re-steal", is more like

The "debunkers" nicked it, we gotta nick it back. ;-)

They are Skepters

The majority of them are NOT "skeptics", by any decent, rational, reasonable definition of the word.

A True Skeptic is open, objective, and unbiased, or as much so as possible.

"They" are the antithesis of that .

They are skepters, at best.

I suggest we start referring to ourselves as "9/11 Truth Skeptics". "9/11 Skeptics" is almost as good.

They use the word skeptic because it has meaning and power, to them, and to others. Because everyone should have a healthy dose of skepticism about everything.

Keep calling them and referring to them as "skepters" and using a definition like above — it is not only correct and accurate in usage, it irritates the hell out of them.

You can also point our other things about them, such as the fact that they tend to be "undeservedly egotistical."

Senior 9/11 Bureau Chief, Analyst, Correspondent, Principle Investigator, Forensic 9/11ologist

It doesn't matter what people are saying, as long as they are talking about you. — Denny Crane


Zan Overall
I have gone to Shermer's meetings at Cal Tech. I confront the soi-disant skeptics as they
come in with placards and handouts. Haven't converted anyone yet but there are a few
open minded people among them. I bill myself as the "Skeptics' Skeptic."

The English spell the word "sceptic." Very close to "septic" which would apply to the
Shermer "Skeptics Society."

DW has a great idea! We are the skeptics! The derivation of the word is to the Greek word
"skeptikos" which means merely "thoughtful." We are the truly thoughtful ones!

For brevity's sake and for other reasons which I imagine you deduce, let's call them "The SS."
I wrote an open letter to The SS which they refused to publish in their magazine. I'll put it
here as I close this letter. Thanks again to DW!
Zan Overall

An Open Letter to The Skeptics Society

Why do you call yourselves “Skeptics?”

“Devoted Defenders of the Paradigm”
would be more accurate.

Skeptics are intellectual rebels who
challenge the views of those in authority,
often risking reputation, livelihood and
sometimes life itself.

In every instance I am aware of,
The Skeptics Society comes down on the
side of authority, risking nothing!

A Skeptics Society member teaching English
Lit somewhere risks nothing agreeing with
his department head that the “man from
Stratford” wrote the plays and poems.

A Skeptics Society member teaching psychology
risks nothing agreeing that intelligence is a
function of a material body and expires with
that body.

A Skeptics Society member risks nothing
at a cocktail party by decrying Intelligent
Design and “going way out on a limb” in
defense of the Theory of Evolution.

Do you so-called “skeptics” ever stick
your necks out?

I hear you saying, “We can’t help it if they
finally got the paradigm right and we
recognized the fact!”

That’s what they all say---in every era
about every paradigm.

It just came to me! You are skeptical
about one thing. You are skeptical about

If you had lived in his day, you would have
been heaping up faggots and arguing over
the privilege of applying the torch to
Giordano Bruno, a skeptic worthy of the name.

Zan Overall, The Skeptics’ Skeptic.

I always thought "9/11 truther" sounded wrong

It implies that we somehow know the truth of what happened on 9/11. We don't. We'd really like to know, and we have some idea about what that truth is but...
"9/11 sceptic" is the term we should always use. Good post.