Friday, March 24, 2017

My Attempt To Persuade A Loved One To Abandon Conspiracy Theories

Image result for twin towers

Dear R,

It is hard to write this letter since I must express views antithetical to your own.

I have little to add to my previously expressed view of 9/11 but I will state them again.

Although I acknowledge many unsettling discrepancies between The Official Story and evidence gathered in the wake of 9/11, I believe it is impossible to conclude with any measure of certainty what actually happened; who may have been "behind" the attack; and why it was perped.

Here are three examples of plausible views that cannot be squared with orthodox 9/11 Truth narratives:

1.) Islamic workmen (or workmen of any other ethnicity or blend of ethnicities) could have planted explosive charges that toppled The Twin Towers.

2.) American intelligence agencies could have planted false evidence in the ruins of the Twin Towers in order to coordinate a meta-level misinformation campaign to achieve some geopolitical goal about which we have no inkling. (In very general terms this second speculation was suggested by good friend AWC, a 94 year old retired Air Force general and self-described "in-your-face liberal," who spent his life in miltary intelligence, had complete CIA authorization 'til he voluntarily surrendered it, and who frequently did business at the Pentagon.)

3.) If there had been a second false flag "Islamic" terror attack that killed "just" 300 - 500 Americans, the citizenry would have happily -- indeed, giddily -- surrendered their political will to any police state the federal government wished to put in place. The fact that "the other shoe never dropped" is totally inexplicable to me if we apply the logic of 9/11 Truth. (I realize there is a very wide range of opinion within 9/11 Truth and that your own view of conspiratorial aspirations may not square with my supposition. Nevertheless, the very uncertainty manifest by divergent views within 9/11 Truth indicates that "what happened" is not cut-and-dry and that this multiplicity of views will, over time, parallel an even more fundamental theo-philosophical truth expressed by Emo Philips: "I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. "Well, there's so much to live for!" "Like what?" "Well... are you religious?" He said yes. I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" "Christian." "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ? "Protestant." "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist" "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off.

The Essence of Religious Fanaticism
(Emo Philips cuts to the quick of religious mania)

However, my chief reason for not delving deeper into the events of 9/11 is that Uncle Sam is a proven sonofabitch-cocksucking-motherfucker who has been responsible for horrors that touch me directly and which I personally find more reprehensible than 9/11; among them Reagan's Contra War; the attempted perpetration of genocide upon the Mayan people of Guatemala (unleashed by the CIA's destabilization of that country in 1954 when Washington overthrew Presidente Jacobo Arbenz Guzman); and the American intel community's ouster of President Salvador Allende followed by Tio Sam's installation of thug-murderer - and "good Christian!" - Augusto Pinochet

I could "carry on." 
Timeline Of United States Military Operations

There is, for example, McKinley's Spanish-American War (which Spain tried to prevent by "pre-surrendering" but was not allowed to) and the consequent horrors visited on the Filipino people with the world's first-ever military strategy to deliberately target civilian populations. 

I could also detail the 1953 overthrow of Iran's first democratically-elected President, Mohammed Moseddagh which, understandably, put an end to trust between Iran and the United States and provoked the ongoing strife that came in its wake.

Or how about Uncle Sam's Vietnam "conflict" which took the lives of 3 million people.

Or the first Iraq War and the subsequent devastation that came in tow - not just for Iraq but for the entire Middle East with still unfolding ramifications for The World.

Or Uncle Sam's conferral of 51st State status on Zionist Israel, simultaneously converting Palestine into the world's largest concentration camp.

But I imagine you get my underlying point.

Image result for ramsey clark greatest crime

Against this smorgasbord of horrors, I do not see why it is necessary to focus disproportionately the deaths of "just" 3000 people 15 years ago.

To my mind, there is no "endgame" in the 9/11 Truth movement.

And if there is a theoretical endgame, I don't understand how it would "play out" to any significant advantage in "the real world." 

As Trump's election demonstrates, people will believe whatever they want to belief - facts be damned. (Recent research shows that when people subscribing to demonstrably false news are confronted with rigorously researched facts, those same people double down on their chosen falsehoods and become more "evangelically" adamant than ever before. One researcher who documented this inconvenient truth has stopped trying convince people who are provably wrong that they are wrong which is remarkable in its own right but which also demonstrates the glory of The Scientific Method which functions by trying to prove its hypotheses are wrong, not just accumulating more and more information, an endeavor that is intrinsic to "confirmation bias."

And so, since there is no beneficial endgame that I can conceive (and I again ask you to please describe the endgame), I know that my own participation in "the endlessness of the game" would ennervate me, simultaneously diminishing my ability to work for beneficial outcomes that ARE within my social and political reach without having reduce myself to Sisyphus pushing a boulder that will never arrive, all the while becoming more exhausted and feeling increasingly desperate. 

At some point the need to be buoyant trumps any motive that would drain my political efficacy, however limited my efficacy may be.

Long ago, I decided to strive for progress, NOT perfection.

I am happy with this "psycho-spiritual deal" and believe I would be paralytically depressed without it.

"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton

"You are fed up with words and I don’t blame you. I am nauseated by them sometimes.  I am also, to tell the truth, nauseated by ideals and with causes.  This sounds like heresy, but I think you will understand what I mean.  It is so easy to get engrossed with ideas and slogans and myths that in the end one is left holding the bag, empty, with no trace of meaning left in it.  And then the temptation is to yell louder than ever in order to make meaning be there again by magic..." 
More Merton Quotes

In similar vein, Trump's election has forced the seismic realization that we humans WANT to be deluded and that we muster the incredible power of "confirmation bias" to persuade ourselves that the beliefs we cherish most are the beliefs of "the one, true, holy apostolic faith."

None of us are immune to confirmation bias.

Not I.

Not you.

Not anyone.

However, it IS within our reach to hone our ability to think critically and to hone criticism in such a way that FINAL judgment is suspended - at least to some significant extent. 

By virtue of suspending our FINAL judgment (a judgment that properly belongs to God alone) we bask in the blessed outcome of avoiding fixation, obsession and religious/political mania. 

In brief, I see all phenomena on a spectrum ranging from unlikely to likely. I see nothing as absolutely certain and have come to believe that absolute certainty (which can be very powerful politically!) is The Problem.

Absolutism As Individual Blessing... And Collective Curse

Image result for simone weil evil as duty
Simone Weil

Thus protected from the overwhelming urge to evangelize our "chosen absolutisms," we are simultaneously freed from the perceived necessity of persuading others that "I" have penetrated through to "The One And Only Truth" that everyone else -- "The Others," "The Infidels" -- MUST understand. 

I believe (and I increasingly choose to use the word "believe") that paradox and ironic distance are fundamental to psycho-spiritual well-being.


When it comes to 9/11, I am wide open to the possibility of nefarious activity by Uncle Sam or any other group of Cowboy Capitalists sucking the tits and f_____ the a__ of The Military-Industrial Complex

"Why We Fight," Excellent Documentary With Ike's "Military-Industrial Complex" As Springboard

But I also believe we are transcendentally embedded in The Magnum Mysterium, and in the same way that divinity's ultimate unknowability is a blessing, I "believe" that all religious, political and intellectual convictions are best left in the unfathomable waters of unknowability.

"Cold Mountain," Mortality, Meaning, Meaninglessness

Yes, we can use our convictions as "working hypotheses" -- and almost always it's okay to act "as if our lives depended on them." 

But there is a line between "vitalizing convictions" and being so self-certain that we try to impose our beliefs on others who often believe "something else" just as passionately as we do. 

The mulitiplicity of beliefs is an insoluble conundrum, and I will only "evangelize" to the extent that I can happily change the minds of those who seem bent on self-destruction... or the destruction of others. 

Only by suspending Final Judgment can we be sure that we have not divided the world into "true believers" who see themselves as the Only Bearers Of The Light and "those others" -- "The Infidels" -- who dwell in unmitigated Darkness. (Have you heard the quip: "There are only two kinds of people - those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't.")

Even now -- in presenting my "conclusion" -- note that I spontaneously resort to the words "believers" and "infidels" -- the latter term meaning "the faithless ones," ultimately those who do not share my "beliefs."

It took me decades to realize that the Catholic church's declaration of Infallibility at the First Vatican Council (1870) was the Vatican's reaction to Science and Technology winning over the people through predictable, dependable miracles made possible by scientific knowledge. 

And so it became "necessary" for the Vatican to compete with Science-knowledge by shifting the church's traditional foundation "away" from "faith" to a proclaimed cornerstone of infallible "knowledge."

Except insofar as The Scientific Method advances the cause of dependable, predictable, precisely-definable Truth (all the while remaining open to being proven wrong by Scientific Method) we do not KNOW.

Outside the domain of science, we make faithful assumptions.


And now, allow me to shift gears.

I believe I am nearer the truth than you are when it comes to another "Truth Movement."

26 kids and teachers were, in fact, killed at Sandy Hook.

To say otherwise is conspiratorial delusion.

How do I "know" this?

I "know" this because I know enough about human nature to realize that secrets are rarely kept by more than two people and often they are not even kept by those two. 

To posit that Sandy Hook (a town of 11,300 people) can actively participate in a theatrical scam while "keeping the secret" that the "supposed" Sandy Hook "slaughter" was perped by a troop of actors (apparently for the purpose of souring Americans on The Second Amendment) is simply over the top... and then again over the next top... and then again over the next top... etc. ad infinitum.

Yes, I want to see gun regulation that makes gun ownership at least as bureaucratically-regulated as buying, owning, registering and insuring a car.

BUT, neither I nor any liberal (or progressive) I know wants to abolish The Second Amendment.

Not one.

To think that there might be --- as far as eye can see --- a successful movement to abolish The Second Amendment is preposterous. 

In fact, ever since Obama became supposedly intent on "taking people's guns away," the number of guns in our manifestly mad society has soared stratospherically.

Here is a summary of the most recent poll I can find concerning Americans' view of "the agent" behind 9/11: "A March 2010 poll conducted by the Angus Reid Public Opinion organization found that 15 percent of respondents found theories that the World Trade Center was brought down by a controlled demolition to be credible. Anywhere between 6 percent and 15 percent of respondents found credibility in claims that United Airlines Flight 93 was shot down, that no airplanes hit the Pentagon or the World Trade Center.[22]"

So, if we posit that 15% of Americans believe "9/11 Truth," that means at least 15% of Sandy Hook residents also approve the fundamental premise of "9/11 Truth."

With this in mind, I cannot imagine that 1,695 Sandy Hookians would refrain from expressing conspiratorial views of the purportedly staged slaughter. 

And since one can "reasonably" conclude that these 1,695 people were "in on" "the hoax," every rational synapse in my head tells me that these people - bar none - would be SCREAMING "HOAX!"

It is also true that "percentage-wise, Trump — whose campaign promised that the state was "in play" last summer — had the best showing for a GOP candidate in Connecticut since George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004. On Tuesday, Clinton won 53 percent of the vote compared to Trump's 41 percent." 

I cannot find the 2016 partisan "vote breakdown" for Sandy Hook itself, but given Connecticut's state-wide totals I would venture that at least one third of Sandy Hookians voted for The Deplorable One. 

In my view, s-Trump-ets are TOTALLY unabashed about saying ANY DAMN THING that pops into their head. 

As I see it, there is "no" chance that this sizeable percentage of Sandy Hook's Trumpista population would not be shouting "Sandy Hook Hoax" from rooftops --- 24/7 --- if, in fact, a coordinated hoax took place. 

All of which leaves me with a pellucidly clear conviction that positing "2nd Amendment abolition" as the underlying reason for the Sandy Hook "charade" is a paranoid delusion.

Since you have already traveled to Syria to investigate "what's happening on the ground," I encourage you to actually visit Sandy Hook and speak with Lenny Pozner.

Sandy Hook Conspiracy? Lenny Pozner Was A Conspiracy Theorist. Then His Son Was Killed

Carl Sagan "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bambo | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

I will close with two "questions."

Do you find yourself reacting to my analysis with anger or a desire to "sideline me" as "someone who just doesn't get it" --- someone who, in some way, is outside "the gnostic fold" of "those who know the innermost Truth" and therefore you see me as belonging to a lesser cognitive order?

Whatever the answer to that question, if you experience any impulse - however slight - to marginalize me in your mind or in your affection, please share this letter with Carol and spend a chunk of time discussing it together.

I would also ask you (as Gurdjieff recommended with any important writing) to read this letter three times, just "taking it in" without "mounting a defense."




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