New book mocks psychology of 9/11 Truthers, avoids facts


By Craig McKee

Ever wonder why those curiosities known as “conspiracy theorists” believe the wacky things they do? Lucky for all of us, a conservative journalist from my native Canada has found all the answers.

Jonathan Kay, managing editor of Canada’s National Post, has released Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Conspiracist Underground (Actually, the Canadian edition has an even more obnoxious title: Among the Truthers: A Journey into the Growing Conspiracist Underground of 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings and Internet Addicts.)

Apparently, people who don’t believe what Mr. Kay believes are relegated to a kind of curious but colourful collective “underground.” Kay seems to feel if you question the honesty of your government on any issue, you should be lumped together, psychologically analysed, and then dismissed without even a brief look at the facts. Certainly economical.

The key thing for people of Mr. Kay’s ilk is to avoid dealing with the substance of an argument you don’t like. Stick to generalizations and character attacks. You don’t need facts when you deal with “conspiracy theorists.” All you need to do is to ridicule their beliefs from the beginning so people don’t even get to hear the case they’re trying to make.

Chapters in Kay’s book like, “Why They Believe: A Psychological Field Guide to Conspiracists ” makes his subjects sound like something you study with binoculars. He treats “conspiracism” as a growing social problem (made much worse by the Internet) that has to be confronted.

The truth, of course, is that people who investigate or entertain the possibility of one conspiracy or another represent a cross section of the population. Some are educated, some are not. Some are sensible, and base their views on a thoughtful analysis of the facts; some make leaps that the data doesn’t support.

I was pleased to find that a former colleague of Mr. Kay’s at the National Post has written a review of Among the Truthers (http://911truthnews.com/the-protocols-of-jonathan-kay/) that calls him on his intellectual arrogance and deliberate superficiality. Here’s an excerpt:

“Kay’s tactic here is the same one used by Michael Shermer of the seriously misnamed Skeptics Society, which is, as the subtitle indicates, to mix up the 9/11 truth movement with The Protocols of Zion, holocaust denial, birtherism, moon hoaxism, etc., into one big wacky ball of racism and lunacy. And his method is as dishonest as Shermer’s as well. Thus, in his interviews, he emphasizes figures he can most easily characterize as charming but quaint, such as Ken Jenkins, a “Bay area flower child” who “embodies the sixties soul of the 9/11 truth movement’s older members.” Or, where he does speak with Truthers who are more immediately credible, he makes short work of their bona fides before reverting to the book’s default mode — a sort of bland superciliousness. Thus Barrie Zwicker, a journalist of longer standing and quite a bit more distinction than Kay, becomes “an amiable crank,” of interest mostly because he insisted on conducting his own counter-interview when they met, complete with “a chess clock to regulate our usage of time.” (Zwicker said in a TV debate with Kay that there was no chess clock, just a regular one – CM) And David Ray Griffin, who has spent not two but eight years studying his subject and published 11 books about it, is also, simply, a “crank.”

Kay never addresses the arguments of his interlocutors, because, he tells us late in the book, a New York City editor warned him that “Debunking books don’t sell.” Instead, he refers the reader to various of those books, and sites. This is defensible on editorial grounds; were he to get into his own reasons for rejecting 9/11 Truth theories, the book would be even weightier than it is. But it is also a convenience; it means Kay never has to address what he calls the “anomalies” in the official story of that day. We never learn why his interviewees are so head-shakingly wrong — they just are.”

Saying you don’t believe in conspiracies is like saying you don’t believe in weather. Or furniture. You can take that position, but whether you acknowledge that conspiracies exist or not, they’re still around and have been throughout history. After all, a conspiracy is nothing more than two or more people getting together to do something unlawful. Does that really seem so unlikely to happen? Why can’t we judge them on a case-by-case basis?

I have an idea for a book: How about a psychological study of people who accept what the elites tell them without question and without critical thought. What makes these strange people dismiss any possibility of deception? Why do they require virtually no evidence for what they’re told? Why do they ignore history? And why do they condescendingly mock those who question and who think critically?

On second thought, I’d rather stick to the facts.

6 comments

  1. Guys, the 9/11 truth has been out on the internet for over a year now.

    This is the truth – The WTC was destroyed by 3 underground thermo-nuclear explosions. They were detonated by the US government who used this as an excuse to lead the US and its allies into invading Afghanistan and Iraq. All these wars and deaths were based on a lie.

    Will you help to tell this to the world?

    http://www.mathaba.net/news/?x=625926

    http://www.911-truth.net/
    Be sure to watch the 26 part video there.
    #4 is on the built-in nuclear demolition scheme of the WTC
    [video src="http://www.911-truth.net/911_WTC_nuclear_demolition_Dimitri_Khalezov_part04.mp4" /]
    #14 in on Building 7
    [video src="http://www.911-truth.net/Dimitri_Khalezov_interview_WTC_nuclear_demolition_part14.flv" /]
    #24/25 is on the chronic radiation sickness of the WTC responders)
    [video src="http://www.911-truth.net/911_WTC_nuclear_demolition_Dimitri_Khalezov_part24.mp4" /]
    [video src="http://www.911-truth.net/911_WTC_nuclear_demolition_Dimitri_Khalezov_part25.mp4" /]

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/02/21/dimitri-khalezov-gordon-duff-and-kevin-barrett-nuclear-terrorism/

    http://www.danielestulin.com/wp-content/uploads/11septemberthirdtruthenglishnexus.pdf

    1. Dear Mr. Anonymous,

      I have reviewed Dimitri Khalezov’s material before. I particularly like the nugget of truth from the Russian secret vaults that demolition plans were required for construction permits, and that nukes were supposedly in the WTC tower demolition plans.

      I disagree with Mr. Khalezov’s conclusions of deep underground thermo-nuclear explosions. The prestine bathtub and 3 or 7 unblocked subway lines disprove this, as does the video evidence showing a top-down (as opposed to bottom-up) demolition, as does seismic evidence. Dr. Judy Wood’s textbook assists in putting to rest deep underground nukes.

      My 9/11 conspiracy theory de jour is cold-fusion DEW, which can be amended to Tesla DEW sucking energy off of Hurricane Erin off of the NYC coast, but that is a case that is much harder to make.

      I recommend Dr. Judy Wood’s new textbook for the presentation of evidence which helps rule out deep underground nukes.

  2. I just burst with an hysterical snort when I saw “truthers avoid facts”. It’s only truthers seeking the facts. I have a friend, here in the UK, who said to me, regarding 9/11, and this is truly magic, “you only believe it because you think it’s true” This is the closest to peeing myself i’ve ever been. What is there left to say beyond the expression ‘their are none so blind etc, etc, except maybe, the blindest of all are those ‘so stupid they the don’t know what eyes are’. Going back to my friend he admitted, finally, that he didn’t want to believe it. Ah well.

    1. I’ve certainly had people make similarly inane arguments to me. And I agree that an examination of the facts is coming primarily from the Truther side. In the case of my article, it was certainly Mr. Kay who I was claiming was avoiding facts, not the Truth movement. There is a clear unwillingness by most people to even consider the evidence before reaching a conclusion.

  3. But even if this was not the case this is no different from pro-lifers favoring politicians who are heavily pro-life or people opposed to higher taxes straying away from politicians saying they’ll raise taxes. Yet they do not or at least have not bothered to announce as such that they believe 9 11 was an inside job.

  4. The Laws of Physics are incapable of caring about psychology.

    Are psychologists smart enough to comprehend Newtonian Physics?

    Psychology is the study of NOT THINKING!

    It may be very interesting to study the psychology of physicists after 9/11/11 to see why they don’t ask as something a simple as the tons of steel that were on every level of the towers. How could enough steel in the south tower get hot enough in less than one hour to initiate collapse? Have physicists ever heard of specific heat? LOL

    So if it was physically impossible for airliners to have caused the destruction of WTC 1 & 2 then the physics profession has painted itself into a curious corner. Why should we listen to them talk about Black Holes and the Big Bang?

    http://psikeyhackr.livejournal.com/1276.html
    .

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