Thin man hungers for meaty answers E.J. Montini Jun. 12, 2008 12:00 AM

Thin man hungers for meaty answers

The Arizona Republic
Jun. 12, 2008 12:00 AM

The thin man who has been starving himself outside the Phoenix office of U.S. Sen. John McCain bugs us.

You can tell by some of the things people shout as they pass in cars on 16th Street. You can tell by some of the remarks left online about the article about the man earlier this week by The Republic's Richard Ruelas.

The idea of this now-skinny guy sitting on a lawn chair in the shade just south of Missouri Avenue gets on our nerves.

And it is not only because this particular man believes that the U.S. government was complicit or perhaps even responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

It's more than that.

Reasonable people can question 45-year-old Blair Gadsby's judgment. We can question his objectivity. We can even question his sanity. What we cannot question, however, is his commitment.

And that bugs us.

After all, here is a man who, until he stopped eating and started parking himself outside on office building on a busy street, appeared for all the world to be perfectly normal. He's intelligent and articulate. He teaches at a community college. He's married.

But, for over two weeks, he sat in 100-degree heat holding up a sign about 9/11 conspiracies and not eating.

I stopped by to see him on Tuesday after he had been to the state Capitol as a guest of state Sen. Karen Johnson, who has her own doubts about what happened on 9/11.

"It was very discouraging to be up in the balcony (at the Capitol) and to see people rolling their eyes and scoffing at what we represent," Gadsby told me.

I told Gadsby that it isn't just his conspiracy theories that cause people to roll their eyes. It is the fact that he is willing to put everything on the line for something he believes in.

Those of us who never would do such a thing - meaning, most of us - need to believe that Gadsby is crazy.

It allows us to hide our self-doubt in ridicule.

"We'll accept that the leaders of Sudan will do terrible things to their own people and that Saddam (in Iraq) would do terrible things to his people," Gadsby said. "Why wouldn't there be a few rotten apples among our people who would do such things?"

On Wednesday afternoon, some of the people in what Gadsby calls the "movement" were scheduled to gather with him. It was the 11th of the month, a day of protest for 9/11 conspiracy believers. It also was the day that Gadsby said he expected to end his fast.

McCain's office promised to respond to some of his questions, and he felt that his hunger strike had raised public awareness. Still, he wonders why the media is dismissive of the questions he asks. For instance, he said, why put quotations around the word truth in the headline of The Republic's first article about him. It read: "Hungry for 'truth' about 9/11."

The quotations send a subtle message that he isn't seeking the real truth, he said, adding, "I understand the literary technique."

Maybe. But while we dismiss him for his beliefs, we also dismiss him for his dedication.

The thin man sitting outside the office of a U.S. senator isn't simply raising questions about 9/11, he's raising a question about us.

By fasting for all those days in public he is, by example, asking this question : For what cause or belief would you go hungry, risk your livelihood, your health, your reputation?

What bugs us and causes many of us to treat someone like Gadsby with disdain is that we have no good answer to that question.

Reach Montini at


...quite a melancholic look at his protest. Weird.

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government." -The Declaration of Independence

Can't confront the truth

Still dancing all around the issue.
It's unbelievable that so many people are still so blind and unable to face the truth that they force themselves to write about, not the issue of 9/11 Truth but about people's reactions to, and understanding of, it.
C'mon eople. There's a goddamned elephant in the room. Deal with it! Stop wasting time trying to ignore those of us who ARE trying to deal with it.

How stupid do they think we are?? Oh never mind.

Jeff Farias talks to Blair Gadsby - June 11th

Ed Montini's column provides its own part of the truth

This column catches the ultimate strength of Blair's beautiful action. It is so hard for so many of our countrymen and women to function in the realm of meaning. It is not surprising to me that Blair teaches religious studies.

We as Americans are often criticized for our superficiality. We deserve this criticism.

When I speak on nonviolence at 911truth conferences, I point out that that our culture generally dismisses any focus on truth. Several years ago I attended a book signing by Jonathan Schell for his book The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People (2003). He noted that Gandhi's term for nonviolence is satyagraha, often referred to as "Truth Force". He lamented that the term "Truth Force" didn't seem to catch on very well in the US. I do to.

Americans generally don't care about the truth. Americans love a winner. The football coach Vince Lombardi is known for his quote," Winning isn't the most important thing. Winning is the only thing." The baseball manager Leo Durocher was quoted saying," Nice guys finish last."

As I read the vicious comments against Blair posted in response to the earlier Republic article, I thought of the ugliness of the spirit shown in so many posts. I wanted to ask those people why they couldn't see any sincere political contribution made without hatred as just that , a contribution. Blair takes care never to speak derisively of Senator McCain. He set such a good example in that way.

Then I was reminded of the ugliness of spirit shown by so many "truthers" is so many situations. I say now to all who can hear it, if you cannot avoid a mean-spirited tone in your communication, you are not dedicated enough to the truth. If you cannot find something in your adversary to praise, you haven't tried hard enough.


...there are men whom one hates until a certain moment when one sees, through a chink in their armor, the writhing of something nailed down and in torment.

Gerald Kersch

You know what 'bugs' me.....?

Articles like this. This clown needs LOTS of email. What a complete ass! Everybody let him know what you think.

Montini's views are very instructive & this is not a hit piece

i've been seeing more articles like this lately; they don't endorse claims made by the 9/11 Truth Movement (or the "truth"/neocointelpro ops), but they endorse the right to ask questions, to speak out, to demand answers and accountability, and they acknowledge the importance of doing so. They acknowledge the impact of the 9/11 truth movement on the social consciousness, and the convictions and integrity of certain researchers and activists- like Montini does about Blair.

The American Revolution had about 45% popular support; we're there now. The British loyalists were down to 15-20%; the neocons are there now (Cheney's ratings), and Bush the tool is getting closer, he's been near 30% pop. support for the last couple years, i think.

That leaves 35-40% that didn't support the King's army, but didn't want to revolt- now nearly American thinks the Revolution was a great thing. I'm glad to see people in that 35-40% speaking out. We're all human, we all have rights, we're all on a path of learning and growth, spiritually. The gene pool hasn't changed much in 200 years, but technology has changed a LOT; we live in a different environment now, information and communications are becoming more integrated and widely accessible, it's not nearly as simple a matter to keep truth covered up, and sometimes it's not even possible- the neocons are boiling frogs.

*** By no means am i advocating violent revolution; the truth is what these criminal elites can't handle; shine its light on 'em, they shrivel like vampires- we get stronger taking their blows- and they get weaker

Great book- Globalize Liberation, edited by David Solnit- civil disobedience, popular movements, social consciousness, boycotts, community/solidarity/organizing, street theatre, strikes, protests- the 9/11 Truth Movement has spontaneously adopted all these things

9/11 Family Steering Committee Review of the 9/11 Commission Report:

Complete 9/11 Timeline


The CONSTITUTION is NOT going to "collapse" into pulverized dust no matter how much thermate/explosives or planes they throw at it

you put it well

It was a thoughtful, well-written piece from someone who is asking honest questions, but is not yet up to asking the real questions. I was happy to see it.

Don't blow this

E.J. Montini has been writing for the Arizona Republic for 20 years probably. This is his usual writing style. This guy is on the fence & he has a lot of loyal readers. He is a real journalist & did not attack Blair in fact he praised him. Getting hostile with him would be a big mistake. Don't blow this.

2 approaches to the truth

I take issue with Nothwind's post. It's in the same vein as W's "you're either with us or against us."

One reason that the peace movement vilifies the truth movement is that too many of us are true believer types like cults are. These folks are ready to rip the heads off of anyone who doesn't parrot the exact words considered acceptable.

This is also why the term "truther" does us a disservice.

A real seeker of truth would look at the comments of Mr Montini and find the parts they feel come close to his or her conception of the truth and acknowledge them.

Blair Update from Karen Winfield

Hi everyone -- As most everyone should know by now, Blair's fast ended
last night when his wife brought him one of his favorite drinks -- a
bottle of Mango juice. After 17 days, you can imagine how good that
tasted to him! You can almost hear him saying, "Aaaahhhhhhhhh!" in the
attached photo! Tim talked to Blair this morning and says he's feeling
good. Still tired and weak, but very optimistic and very pleased with
how everything has turned out.

I'm a little unclear on the meeting yesterday with Senator McCain's
staff, so I need to get an update on that. The discussions are not
yet, but I'm not sure what has been negotiated. We'll have to get you
some additional information on that. The media continues. You all saw
the Ed Montini column in this morning's Republic, and Senator Johnson
did an interview with Lenny Charles on "INN World Report Television
News" this afternoon. They played her Floor speech and then talked to
her on the phone. She has additional interviews scheduled for next
week. We will keep you posted on stories and other media coverage.

Thanks to everyone for the great support. This effort has really
unified and strengthened the Arizona 9/11 Truth activists and
established connections with people all over the country.

Kind regards,
Karen Winfield
Assistant to Senator Karen S. Johnson

Thankyou so much, he has touched the world with your help!

Kind regards John

9/11 24/7 UNTILL JUSTICE!!

Blair Gadsby

where to go for a summary of what went down, who he is, meetings with whom...need something concise, please. He needs a Wiki. Very important in order to share with others.

EDIT: i just listed to his radio interview:


All press is important:

Sure this guy is in denial, but he has been influenced by the credibility of and dedication of a college professor named Blair Gadsby. The seed of doubt of the official story has been planted in his mind where it will grow over time until he looks for himself behind the spooky 911 door..Just to be sure there's nothing really there. And then sometime after that his eyes will start to open and he will begin to wake up. And then life for him will change and he will change. He does not realize it but he too has planted seeds in some of his reader's minds who will start to question what is going on and may be influenced by additional stimuli until some of them begin to wonder and research for themselves. So I sent him an email and thanked him for his coverage of Blair's hunger strike and encouraged him to understand that we all didn't believe in 911 monsters at one time or another. But the real thanks goes to Blair the great Gadsby who planted lots of seeds over the last 17 days including some of Senator McCain's own staff. And who inspired many of us to spread the message of his vigil to so many others. Thanks again Blair for strengthening all of us.

It's not a hit piece.

It's not a hit piece, IMHO. Montini cannot support the questions raised by 9/11 Truth! An article supporting 9/11 Truth simply would not get printed.

This is the best Montini can do! The article represents the planting of seeds of self-doubt in the reader's mind! I consider it a relatively positive treatment for the Arizona Republic.

...don't believe them!