9/11 Truthers and Believers

I recently found myself caught up in another of those seemingly unavoidable debates where the topic of 9/11 arose. Sides were taken, lines were drawn and opposing parties became embroiled in battle. Having been down this road as many times and with as many people as I have, I can only imagine that this must be a familiar experience for so many citizens by now, particularly for those who participate in Internet discussions. This time, it was an Internet discussion, beginning with a post laughing at 9/11 truthers in general and issuing an all-too-familiar wholesale character attack. I think it's time for 9/11 truthers to read this common man's article and to consider the development of a collectively shared view upon what the most common, basic elements of 9/11 psychology are.

Various references among 9/11 truthers are made to those whose position fall in line with the official 9/11 story. These references include; "9/11 skeptics", "9/11 deniers" and "9/11 believers". I believe the last two are also used the other way around, to refer to 9/11 truthers. In this most recent discussion, I examined the many posts that had accumulated. In addition to any material contributions, familiar behavioral patterns on both sides appeared to emerge.

Something also happened in this discussion that I had not seen before, which was for the moderator of the forum to step in and begin warning everyone to refrain from general character attacks. Many of us, on both sides, found this to be a pleasant surprise. After many more contributions to the discussion, one of the 9/11 skeptics posted the following entry:

" From author William Rabkin on conspiracy theorists (from "Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind", p. 65-66):

" This is the hard-core conspiracy freak... this kind of conspiracy nut can take seemingly random bits of information from anywhere and weave them together into one long narrative. And it will always make sense - at least, to him. Once you expose it to real world logic, it falls apart. But these people see real world logic as part of the cover-up, and they accuse anyone who tries to talk them out of their delusion as being part of the plan. ... These are the ones who are so convinced they're right that they're willing to act on their beliefs. They'll do anything to fight off the conspiracy, including committing violent acts. "

As I say, behavioral patterns appeared to have been taking shape, so I took it upon myself to be sure. I went through every post in the discussion, and I compiled quotations by every party to it, noting the statements being made and the disposition or bearing of each. While my data was not entirely consistent, most of the contributors on either side respectively appeared to possess common types of behavior amidst their writings. In almost all cases, those who supported the official 9/11 story appeared to present their positions religiously, whereas those who did not agree with the official story tended to present specific evidentiary statements of their own, along with quotes, videos, and/or references to other informational sources. There were also one or two from either side who did not conform to these patterns of behavior, but these were the exceptions to the rule.

Examples of statements by various skeptics/believers included; "there is no point arguing about whether the 'truthers' have a point. They've been debunked for years, and refuse to listen.", "Truthers are crazy, uneducated ghouls. There's been enough scientific rebuttal of their nonsense that I feel no need to go into it again.", "Did they ever prove there was a second shooter from the grassy knoll?", "You're like a religious fundamentalist; so convinced in your beliefs that you will dismiss any evidence contrary to your claims and spinning more and even more elaborate lies to promote the insanity of your theories.", and, "You can't debate what's already been decided".

Examples of statements by various truthers included; "Man, I'm not a 'truther', but there is some obvious bull--- in the government explanation of the September 11th attacks", "The Kean-Hamilton report or official story if you prefer was brought to you by the same people who vetoed health care assistance for 9/11 responders.", "What is up with these sources?", a posted link of a Fox News video, '9/11 Cover-Up Finds a Voice' on Fox with Judge Napolitano, and, "Just because you don't believe the government, doesn't mean you believe everything that the truth movement puts forth. Obviously there are holes to the story.".

As it says in the Wikipedia, the 9/11 Truth Movement is comprised of those who questions at least some part of the official account of 9/11, and also, that these are individuals who wants for there to be a new investigation. I also noticed participants in this discussion who didn't fall into the two standard categories above. For them, it appeared that two things could be said; 1) that they did have problems with the official account, and 2) that they would not refer to themselves as "truthers". I found that combination interesting. Perhaps it is too polarizing a topic, because all a truther really is, as described above, is someone who questions some or all of the official story, and who would like to see a new investigation (also see link and text below).

For the behavior I have examined in this discussion, I would like to apply the term "9/11 believer", in reference to those who wholeheartedly stood by the official account. I feel like I saw great consistency in their behavior to this effect. For in-depth examples of such behavior, one can go to and examine discussions at JREF, or The James Randi Educational Foundation, which appears to be an Internet stronghold for "9/11 skeptics", and form an opinion upon the behavior one sees there. I would characterize what I am seeing there as including large percentages of wholesale ad hominem attacks, or direct, wholesale attacks upon the character of any and all truthers. My impression of this is that of a steadfast belief and a zero desire to question any aspect of the official story whatsoever, or to even entertain such a notion. I think that the statement by the TV author above, William Rabkin, may symbolize this behavior well.

In 2003, my brother was digging into his own investigation of this business of 9/11. He would talk to me on the phone and tell me of the strange evidence he was seeing. He started with the business of the WTC collapses as something that he thought looked suspicious. I would have to say that it got to the point where I was getting sick of hearing it. After some effort on his part in presenting various details to me, I finally felt strongly enough about both himself and what he had showed me to start looking into the topic myself, on my own time. By mid-2004, after compiling information of some depth, I came to a first point in my life when I would no longer be a "9/11 believer", as a truther would use the term. Prior to this point, I wasn't keen on the idea of having to put up with these questions, and no small part of me hoped to put my brother's anxieties to rest.

I should also take the time to say that it was at this point in my life that I then experienced a rough period, psychologically. To me, it seemed like my whole world view was falling apart; that the questioning of the official story was no simple or easy experience to have. Eventually, I and my world view gained some stability once again.

In response to those who hold their positions steadfastly as 9/11 believers, I might ask them to consider the seemingly religious conviction of their stance when I do see it. I am seeing many comments from such individuals, to the effect of saying, "all truthers are completely mad, period, and end of story". Conversely, when I look at those who do not so wholeheartedly tow the official story line, I am seeing many more specific statements regarding inconsistencies in the official story, ranging from having a few simple problems with the official story all the way up to being convinced that the entire official story is chock full of bunk.

As a 9/11 truther, I now choose to rebuke these common 9/11 believer attacks directly, at least where I feel that it is most appropriate to do so. In fact, this is the purpose of this article. Do any of us really need this kind of behavior in any meaningful, material exchanges? In the meantime, I will stick to what is said in the deeply-referencing Wikipedia entry for the "9/11 Truth Movement":

From link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Truth_movement

" 9/11 Truth movement is the collective name of loosely affiliated organizations and individuals who question the mainstream account of the September 11, 2001 attacks [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

" Adherents of the movement advocate and discuss different theories about how the attacks happened and call for a new investigation into the attacks.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] " ...

Perhaps we can all learn how to see unproductive behavior where it happens, and to cite it when it happens. And perhaps it wouldn't hurt for truthers to quote the Wikipedia as above when doing so, so that everyone knows what "9/11 truther" really means.

- Mark G. Meyers
(One who questions the official story)
Some recommended sites: ae911truth.org, patriotsquestion911.com, 911truth.org, 911research.wtc7.net

It is so very difficult............

..............to argue with people who are smart but have closed their minds.
And what makes it so very difficult is that ALL the press, except a few media outlets at the fringe, are on their side. Even the alternative media. I don't blame them for being skeptical. We all USED TO know that the media will always follow a good story, and if the msm won't, certainly the alternative media will.
And, so, in that way, the alternative media has REALLY screwed us.

But the good news is that many in other parts of the world are beginning to see the truth, particularly in the Muslim world.
It seems each week there are breakthroughs somewhere in the world. The truth, it seems, will have to seep into the US from beyond, and eventually humiliate our msm and alternative press.

Alternative media, alternative discussion

I agree about how disheartening it is to see even when alternative media shys away. You know, the discussion I wrote about was on a Daily Show discussion forum. Perhaps that show is much closer to the mainstream than you were thinking. The thing that really got me, though, was to hear one or two fans of that show appear to feel bolstered by seeing Jon Stewart hold up that '911 was an outside job' sign.

I was originally taking that sign as part of him listing off things to vent steam from, like I shared the feeling. I did not suspect, at that time, that members of his fan base would look to that show they way that they do. It now appears to me that there are people in that group who know little of the world or its news, with exception to the Daily Show/Colbert Report themselves.

As for smart people in discussion, I can say that I have certainly felt overwhelmed by the amount of work involved sticking to it and presenting all the facts they need to have the necessary food for thought. This has given me the thought and desire to gather at least some truthers to conduct joint efforts upon certain discussion forums, just to share the load.

For smart, you just gotta be smarter. The evidence I enjoy using the most to shut people up is to reference the FBI's stated lack of evidence, Dick Cheney's confirmation of this (Tony Snow, 2006), the thousands of professionals who have gone public, the video and associated engineering discussion of building 7, the odd combination of official evidence of demolition for building 7, such as videos of the evacuation and the premature BBC/CNN reports, as combined with the NIST explanation of gravitational collapse (huh?), and the lack of air defense that morning with how standard intercepts were both before and after 911. You know, the list goes on. You just have to keep after it. I wish we could form little groups to share the load sometimes to deal with the tough believers.

Also, I used to have a 911 page, years ago, where I compiled a bunch of info and links in one place for believers to look at. I might want to do that again, since there is so much newer and better evidence to put together.

TAKE HEART - you can wipe out JREF for many arguers by simply trying to have civil discourse and pointing out how bad the behavior on that site really is. Cheers - Mark