I was cautioned by an older left activist friend against taking a strong stand on the 9/11 issue. He compared it to past so-called conspiracy theories, such as the grassy knoll, and felt that entertaining such delusions of unsolvable ultimately unknowable complexities was equivalent to intellectual suicide, which for a commentator is equivalent to professional suicide.
For my part, skepticism inclines me to hold events with profound political repercussions at an intellectual distance, until I gain substantial background depth. This takes considerable time & effort, and my judgment is often challenged in this gradual educational process. Some events I hold in suspension indefinitely. Some sway in and out, in a kind of plausibility dance. The more important the event, the less likely I will hold firm to a particular position, though I (like most of us, I assume) tend to cherry-pick my way to some comfort level. Experts, pundits, journalists all start from different places, from different backgrounds (neutrally referred to as “bias”) and some have political “agendas.” Hence, anyone’s theory of events is not to be taken as gospel at first reading. The more sensational the rhetoric, the less attractive the theory. Unless, of course, I’m interested in the circus!
My background in design & construction, family influence, and an interest in cause & effect, push me to look deeper than the official “story,” whatever the issue. So when Richard Gage Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth came to town for a presentation on his empirical engineering analysis (with supporting material from many videos and audio recordings made on that day) of WTC Building 7’s collapse, naturally my curiosity was piqued. I came away convinced that his analysis proved his theory, which is that Building 7 was brought down in a controlled demolition late in the day of 9/11. Simply, no other theory can explain the symmetrical and sudden collapse. By a similar analysis, he posits that the North & South towers (1WTC & 2WTC) were brought down intentionally with timed and pre-placed explosives. Gage delivers a very convincing presentation. It’s fairly dispassionate and very broad. It is also a lot of information to process for a viewer.
There is a physiological reaction which occurs when one is presented with an alternate reality which conflicts fundamentally with one’s close-held version, challenging one’s underlying assumptions. The physical reaction is pain. Real pain. We have been conditioned since birth to maintain an open channel to the primitive emotions, like fear, with aversion to physical and emotional pain. We are often reminded of the strength of the “fight or flight” reaction. It’s called “instinctual,” therefore it’s power is unquestioned and mysterious. But it is seldom that we are reminded of our power to overcome our reactions and to create alternate outcomes, more positive outcomes. So, when confronted by a scientifically sound analysis which challenges the accepted truth, our first reaction is aversion, reinforced by pain memories. If we are open, we will resist the aversion, perhaps transform it into a feeling of surprise.
It took 3 years for the most prestigious American scientific organization of the day to accept that the Wright brothers had successfully flown a heavier-than-air craft in an extended flight. The directors simply could not accept the eye-witness account that their own reporter returned with of that flight. I use this anecdote to remind myself not to judge others based on the strength of their grasp on their particular reality. The greater part of our accepted truth is our social conditioning. Only a small part can we claim as uniquely and creatively ours. What I celebrate is that small part, and I try to look for it in everyone I encounter. It’s the part that inevitably surprises.