Loose change screwed

At Skeptic magazine, John Ray is celebrating victory over the 9/11 conspiracy movement.

Yet, in just under four years, the 9/11 “truth movement” has ground to a halt. Apart from the fundamental incoherence of their theories, the downfall of the 9/11 denier juggernaut was good old-fashioned skepticism at its finest, the kind that conjures visions of James Randi challenging psychics and faith healers on their home turfs and winning. Skeptics are better at their jobs than they think, and its important to give credit where credit is due.

Today, the 9/11 conspiracy movement is a shell of what it once was. The website masquerading as an academic journal, Journal of 9/11 Studies, has dropped from a high of six or seven articles published per issue to one, and its February 2008 edition (it’s supposed to be updated monthly) was simply skipped over, evidently for lack of a single article. The introduction to the main hub of 9/11 denier activity, 9/11 truth.org, welcomes its visitors with a plea that announces, “we’ve cut to the bare bones, but are still far short of our basic budget needs.” Prominent “truthers” like Mark Dice, Dylan Avery, Jimmy Walter (lambasted in Penn & Teller’s Showtime series Bullshit! episode on 9/11), and Kevin Ryan have dropped into obscurity. The well read author David Ray Griffin continues to lecture, but to shrunken audiences, and this year’s big 9/11 rally looks to be set in Ottawa, not New York City — evidently due to lack of interest.

I hate to piss on the parade but I don’t think the conspiracy movement is beaten. As Edmund Standing pointed out, we are dealing with faith-based positions. The 9/11 truth movement will continue, if not in a formal manner, then in obsure websites, in insinuation and sophistry, in pseudo-controversial chatter at dinner parties and in bars from Washington to Walsall.

You can tear the 9/11 deniers’ arguments to bits ten times over and it won’t matter, because the true believer has no love for reason, evidence or, for that matter, reality. Think about how many times the central claims of Holocaust denial have been disproved. David Irving, the most prominent and respected denier, had his propositions destroyed in a libel trial that made headlines around the world. Yet the disease still thrives: in parts of Europe and much of the Arab world the rats are still being sent out to die in happy cities.

One could say the same about religion. Bad ideas never die.

No, we will still have to confront these faith-based positions: with reason, argument, evidence, truth and last but not least, mockery and derision.

With that in mind here is a link to another Ray article. In it he has calculated that, according to the 9/11 truth movement, ‘at least 8,157 people were required to perpetrate 9/11.’

Even still, even if everyone on earth could keep a perfect secret, even if nobody ever let words slip while drunk, or murmured something in someone’s ear, or sold a story to someone else for money, or left a memo un-crumpled or an e-mail undeleted or a personal expense record unchanged or a passerby un-silenced, the whole thing would fall apart – even if merely 8,157 people lived in perfect anonymity, totally escaped the scrutiny of 21st-century life, and never told anyone anything, we still would not be scratching the surface of Loose Change’s paranoid delusions. There would still have to be herds of lawyers and accountants to bury the money trail. Young pilots with families to be permanently silenced. Decades of public records to be clandestinely destroyed by people who are themselves perfectly anonymous.

In other words, folks, we would be living in a fantasy of a fantasy of a fantasy of a fantasy, where impossible people in impossible situations do impossible things under impossible conditions.

southpark6

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2 Responses to “Loose change screwed”

  1. Marlin Says:

    I would like to invite you to a filmed debate, no editing, and an open forum.

    You have my email address from the post/comment. Let’s see who has the proof and who is blowing smoke!

    How is that? There is one stipulation, you have to post the video on your blog! OK?

  2. maxdunbar Says:

    How would that work, exactly?

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