9-11 Truth is a cult: random thoughts on Group Think in the age of online activism
I posted in an earlier blog entry about my outcast status from the social networking site Myspace.
Social networking is great, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for it. Lord knows we could all use friends… even if they are only online and we will probably never meet 99% of them in real life.
But my experience with Myspace was less about friendship and felt more like some kind of lab observation. You get to watch how people behave, what sets them off, what makes them tick, etc…
And you get to watch them network… And network… And network… Adding friends on Myspace seems akin to passing notes in grade school: Will you be my best friend? Check YES or NO.
And then what happens? In my own personal experience, not much. Most “friends” on Myspace you will never get any closer to than when you hit the APPROVE button on their friendship request.
Which makes it all the more strange when you encounter a group that seems so tight knit that everything they do and say looks and sounds like it is coming out of the same brain and central nervous system.
I’m thinking of the Myspace contingent of 9-11 Truth. In the forums they always seem to speak with the exact same turns of phrase, the same talking points, over and over again. That is to be expected from any group with the same basic goal and agenda, but 9-11 Truthers really have to be admired for the single-mindedness of their message. If life were a crappy episode of Star Trek The Next Generation then 9-11 Truthers would be The Borg and their goal would be that you would be assimilated.
I’m all for Freedom of Speech. You won’t find me censoring people’s opinions here (if I ever get any comments that is). As a general rule I try to tolerate almost everybody else’s opinion, and I respect your right to believe whatever it is you want to believe. But the “debate” around the events of 9-11 is so shrill, so desperately dysfunctional, that there seems to be almost no middle ground whatsoever.
I actually don’t believe that is true. I think there is a huge middle ground of people who just don’t know for sure how it happened and refuse to get sucked into the cesspool of discussion that passes for discourse on the subject. What’s the point? When the “debate” is dominated on both sides by ideologues with no intention of budging from their battle positions, can people be blamed for rejecting the entire mess in disgust?
My advice to 9-11 Truthers: Work on some fresh material.
The stock phrases are getting you nowhere fast. “9-11 was an inside job”… “wake up sheeple”… “the way the towers came down defies the laws of physics”… “the buildings collapsed at free-fall speed”…
… I saw those same exact statements over and over again from different people. Each of them put forth their arguments like it was the first time their audience was hearing The True Word. They were going forth and preaching the gospel of 9-11 Truth. For a time in the forums there were multiple drive-by postings telling people to go see the new version of Loose Change. Some 9-11 Truth group had obviously told their followers to go forth and multiple.
They will tell you they have blown the conspiracy wide open. That it has been laid bare and exposed. They act like it is common knowledge that “9-11 was an inside job”.
Yet if the case was so clear cut wouldn’t somebody have done something about it by now? No, they’ll tell you. Because the media is controlled by the government and they are suppressing the truth from coming out. But honestly, I can’t remember a time when alternative opinion and journalism was easier to come by. So wouldn’t some journalist with integrity have taken up the cause and shown the ironclad proof to the world so these people could finally be held accountable… And please, please, please don’t give me the name of some “reporter” for the American Free Press.
I don’t know. I’m just one guy with one opinion. I don’t claim to know The Truth the way the people in 9-11 Truth claim to know it.
All I know is that 9-11 Truth looks and sounds like a cult. Be careful if they offer you any Kool-Aid.