By Kevin Quirk
Online Journal Contributing Writer
A year ago, I announced in this forum the launching of my survey for a book that would compile personal accounts of ordinary people active in the 9/11 truth movement. Since then, I’ve been gathering dozens of revealing, often moving stories from inside and outside the U.S., and I’ve begun to put a shape to Voices for 9/11 Truth. Along the way, I’ve come to believe that what we call the 9/11 truth movement is not really a movement per se. It’s something else, something potentially more important, more meaningful, and maybe even more impactful.
First, the obvious: we’re not exactly a homogenous group. Yes, there is a shared commitment to prompt a thorough and impartial 9/11 investigation and unravel the sinister mess behind the crime and cover-up, but we’re not linked by bloodlines, gender, age, economic status, or any other common entity. We’re no clearly defined, pre-established group seeking a platform to gain rights or power — and anyway, we’d be hard pressed to put together a thousand members for a rally, let alone hundreds of thousands. In fact, what I’ve been most struck by in fielding these personal accounts and interacting with the gutsy people behind them is the wide diversity of those who believe that 9/11 was orchestrated from within our government.
That diversity should strengthen the sense of real community among 9/11 truthers while further dispelling the government and corporate media’s ridiculous attempts to marginalize and pigeonhole those who conclude that 9/11 was clearly an inside job.
[Not an image of the WTC 7 skyscraper collapsing from fire and partial damage – but instead an image of the WTC 7 skyscraper experiencing total, instantaneous, and widespread structural failure at all points of its construction.
Like in a controlled demolition.
We’ve all seen how some of the more visible members of the 9/11 truth movement highlight their professional standing: scholars for 9/11 truth, engineers and architects for 9/11 truth, etc.
Understandingly, they believe that impressive titles or credentials are essential in establishing credibility of the evidence — and the movement itself. But as I’ve dug deeper into who’s really out there spreading the truth about 9/11, I’ve found an inspiring assemblage of ordinary people from all walks of life. I’ve heard from priests, veterans, entrepreneurs, lawyers, therapists, technicians, comedians, students, writers, broadcasters, salespeople, homemakers, a DVD producer, a former intelligence officer, and a former member of FUNY, as well as those who happen to be engineers, scholars, and scientists. The credibility of the average person plastering their towns with 9/11 truth DVDs, organizing grassroots lectures and rallies, or just trying to convince family and friends, comes not from their status but from their passion, their commitment, and the authenticity of what they believe and how they proclaim it, even in the face of rejection and scorn.
Geographically, Voices for 9/11 Truth have come from the Northeast, Midwest, South, and Far West of the U.S., as well as from several provinces of Canada. I’ve also heard from 9/11 truth activists from England, Spain, France, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, and Japan. Ages range from over-70 retirees to a middle-school student who debates teachers on 9/11 in the classroom. Socio-economical levels vary from struggling recent college grads to one truther sporting a 9/11 bumper sticker on a Porsche Boxster.
Even more striking has been the rich diversity in religious and, yes, even political backgrounds. My survey has attracted fundamentalist Christians, as well as Catholics, Jews, Mormons, agnostics, and those with more eclectic religious or spiritual leanings. In politics, respondents have in no way been limited to the ranks of Progressives, Greens, or Libertarians. I’ve compiled profiles from Independents, mainstream Democrats, and several Republicans, including those who, pre-catching the 9/11 truth wave, voted for Bush in 2000 and even ’04!
If we’re all nuts, it’s one hell of a holiday variety pack.
So the 9/11 truth crowd hasn’t come together because of something we are. Rather, we came to the same place through something that happened inside our psyches and spirits.
That’s why I see this more as a 9/11 truth awakening. Beyond the basic questions of who really did it, and all the hows and whys that go with it, diving into 9/11 truth for many becomes a personal and even spiritual process. It stirs us to ask deep and profound questions: Who am I and what do I really believe? How do I know what I know? How would it change my life if I admit that “Dad” or any authority figure is really capable of the unthinkable? What does it mean to wake up and tell the truth every day — to myself, first, and then to those around me who may ridicule me for what I say?
The first question I ask my respondents is how and when they first rejected the “official” government story and came to believe or strongly suspect our government’s involvement in 9/11. For some, the “aha” came within months, weeks, or even days (or hours) of the attacks. But many others did not cross that threshold until two, three, or even four years after 9/11. Reading David Ray Griffin, watching Loose Change, or coming across some other compelling source of evidence may trigger an initial exploration, but most don’t make the leap to the “other side” without some real soul-searching.
It’s more than just getting past cognitive dissonance. For many people I have heard from, embracing 9/11 truth has meant a massive overhaul of how they see themselves, their government, their media, their jobs, their churches, their families, and everything else around them. It’s little wonder, then, that when I ask how their involvement in 9/11 truth has changed their lives, many respondents paint a portrait of a major transformation and a lasting spiritual experience. They don’t speak as converts to some fundamentalist “ism,” but rather as grounded and aware people who feel like a veil has been lifted. Some are angry, or frustrated by the lack of action on the get-the-bad-guys front, but almost all are grateful for the personal change as they display amazingly creative and resourceful ways to open the doors for others to glimpse 9/11 truth. And the veils are coming off for more and more folks every day. As a former spiritually-oriented counselor and writer committed to both personal and cultural change, I’m especially heartened by this part of the 9/11 truth picture.
We all want to see our culture act from the truth of what really happened on 9/11. We want Congress to wake up. We want the corporate media to wake up. We want not just a real investigation but real justice for the perpetrators. All that’s imminently worth our continued time, energy, and passion. But even if that sea change never happens — as it sure hasn’t happened for so many other covert operations — let’s get clear about one thing. This 9/11 truth awakening can never be called a failure.
Kevin Quirk, a former journalist, is an author, editor, and personal historian with A Writer’s Eye. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.