This was written on March 15, 2008, as Part 6 of a series of essays I started in 2006 called "The Logical Reconstruction of Reality." Parts 1-5 are available here.
I want to elaborate somewhat on the idea of transparent conspiracy (see Part 3), lest the idea seem too big to chew. It is chewable, but it takes a little work. Even though I have been chewing on it for some time, I am only now arriving at the conclusion, as I pointed out in Part 4, that the theory is correct.
First of all, let's give it a name that will itself be more transparent: MITOP. We are familiar with LIHOP (Let It Happen On Purpose) and MIHOP (Made It Happen On Purpose). Now we have "Made It Transparent On Purpose."
What do so many people now think 9/11 was an inside job? Because there are so many reasons to think so? Yes -- for all of those reasons, and for one more that not so many people may have thought of: we are supposed to think so. The perpetrators, the people on the inside (Orwell's "Inner Party") want us to think so.
This is not as much of a leap from MIHOP as one might think, just as the leap from LIHOP to MIHOP is not as big as it used to be. In fact, as has been often have pointed out, there is no dichotomy or any real difference between LIHOP and MIHOP. There is just a logical extension of degree of guilt, the difference in degree being completely negligible when we are talking about the highest authorities in the land, the most powerful military and intelligence forces in the world. When these most powerful forces allow a crime to be committed, they are not criminally negligent; they are perpetrators.
The distance from MIHOP to MITOP is even less distinct. Once MIHOP has penetrated our red-blooded American minds, MITOP cannot be far behind, if reason and common sense are our guides. The question that must keep coming to mind as we are confronted with fact after astounding fact, lie after lie, contradiction after contradiction, is "How can they have been so stupid?" I mean, really. Could they really have thought that we would be so stupid as to believe the 571-page lie the 9/11 Commission foisted on us? Could they have been stupid enough to think that we would be so stupid, at least for very long? They must have known the 9/11 "truth movement" would be inevitable. How could they possibly have been clever enough to do what they did, and yet be so stupid as to think they could keep all the gaping holes in the official story from being exposed?
The simplest and most logical answer to this is that they were not that stupid. On the contrary, they wanted us to know. They have always wanted us -- at least those of us who are not yet fully lobotomized by the mainstream propaganda -- to know that they can do whatever they f*cking well want to with us, which includes not only 9/11 but also jamming a ridiculous and totally incredible fairy tale down our throats. They want us to know, very clearly but without having to come out and say it explicitly (this may come if martial law is imposed), as I have put it more bluntly earlier, that they've got us by the balls (short hairs for the politically correct).
In Part 2 I discussed Stupidity Theory. This keeps floating to the surface, it seems, as the catch-all explanation for all troubling questions. Thus we have rejection of the "inside job" thesis on the grounds that the government (and in particular the current president) is too stupid to have pulled it off. This is not very different, if at all, from the official theory of what actually happened, namely that the same government (here explictly not only the president) is too stupid to have prevented it or stopped it while it was in progress, 19 Arabs with box-cutters being just too much for the most sophisticated air defense system in the history of the universe. They just couldn't "connect the dots." Was, I mean, of course, since now Homeland Security and the perpetual War on Terror have made everyone much smarter.
This pattern of Stupidity continues as we progress from LIHOP to MIHOP. We must assume, given either of these scenarios, that the Insiders were just too stupid to have pulled off 9/11 any better than they did. Yeah, they were able to bring down those buildings, maybe with secret high-tech weaponry, but they just couldn't get old Ted Olson to get his story straight, Cheney to get his story straight, the military to get their story straight, couldn't get the names of the hijackers on the flight manifests, couldn't get enough debris at the crash sites to look realistic, couldn't make holes in the Pentagon walls that would look realistic, couldn't keep the BBC from announcing that WTC 7 had fallen 23 minutes before the fact, couldn't produce a whitewashed Commission Report that would fool a ten-year-old, etc., etc. -- in short couldn't do any of the things right that now constitute a mountain of evidence pointing directly to an inside job.
Is this credible? Are we going to fall for Stupidity Theory once again? Does it work any better for us here than it does for the 9/11 Commission? Are we going to say that we, too, cannot connect the dots? Are we going to ignore the obvious logical conclusion that people diabolically smart enough to pull off 9/11 would certainly have been smart enough to cover their tracks better than they did, smart enough not to leave so many screaming questions unanswered?
Common sense tells us that this degree of bungling is unlikely, and that they wanted us to know that they could do it and get away with it. Is this not precisely what has happened? Tens of millions of people do "know," despite the official story and the mainstream cover-up, that 9/11 was an inside job. And has there been a real investigation as a result? Have any of the Bush gang been impeached or indicted, or even subpoened, much less punished? Have the docile lapdogs in Congress or the mainstream press showed any sign of life, any sign that they are willing to do what they are supposed to do? No. And let's be honest. Is this situation likely to change? Once Bush and Co. are out of office and we have a Clinton or Obama or McCain as president, who can claim, credibly enough, that they had nothing to do with it, will the truth be any more likely to emerge "officially"?
From the point of view of the perpetrators, 9/11 has been a success. MITOP has been successful. We have a "non-consensus reality" that Lev Grossman (Time, Sept. 3, 2006 ) innocuously depicts as World No. 1 and World No. 2: Official Conspiracy Theory (OCT) and MITOP exist side by side. What this really means is that we are farther down the road to doublethink than we have ever been as a nation. Preemptive and perpetual war is peace. Torture is humane. Fear is security. Constraint is freedom. Tyranny is democracy. Occupation is liberation. Violations of the Constitution are legal. This is the world we live in now.
Let us analyze more closely the mind-control operations that have brought us to this point of insanity. OCT is the Big Lie, a well-known technique known as such at least since Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:
In this they [he means "the Jews"] proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big. Such a falsehood will never enter their heads and they will not be able to believe in the possibility of such monstrous effrontery and infamous misrepresentation in others; yes, even when enlightened on the subject, they will long doubt and waver, and continue to accept at least one of these causes as true. Therefore, something of even the most insolent lie will always remain and stick-a fact which all the great lie-virtuosi and lying-clubs in this world know only too well and also make the most treacherous use of.
The same Wikipedia article I have taken this quote from notes how Walter C. Langer of the OSS (precursor of the CIA), in his psychological profile of Hitler, correctly understood the technique:
"people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
It can readily be seen how the tale of Osama bin Laden and his 19 box-cutter-carrying hijackers making fools out of the US Air Force qualifies as a Big Lie.
MITOP is essentially the same technique, reversed. The mirror image of Big Lie is the Big Truth. This is an even better-established principle of psychological warfare. In more general terms, in sports, for example, it is known as demoralizingone's opponent. We know it from the 2003 invasion of Iraq as Shock and Awe. The goal of this strategy is to convince the enemy of this indelible point: "We are so much more powerful and ruthless than you are that you might as well surrender." The formal term is "rapid dominance," introduced in 1996 at the National Defense University by Harlan Ullman and James Wade, who say the purpose of this doctrine is to
impose this overwhelming level of Shock and Awe against an adversary on an immediate or sufficiently timely basis to paralyze its will to carry on"[to] seize control of the environment and paralyze or so overload an adversary's perceptions and understanding of events that the enemy would be incapable of resistance at the tactical and strategic levels.
The Wikipedia author continues:
Shock and awe is most consistently used by Ullman and Wade as the effect which rapid dominance seeks to impose upon an adversary. It is the desired state of helplessness and lack of will. It can be induced, they write, by direct force applied to command and control centers, selective denial of information and dissemination ofdisinformation, overwhelming combat force, and rapidity of action.
Thus we have two well-known propaganda techniques which are mirror images of each other -- the Big Lie based on a lie which is so big it must be believed, and the Big Truth (Shock and Awe) based on a truth that is so big it must believed, either one of which would be effective on its own.
Of course our leaders don't admit to using the Big Lie at all, because we're the good guys (except in the case of the attack on the USS Maine, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, etc.). The Big Truth, however, as we've seen, is perfectly acceptable. When both techniques are used together, the result could be described as a binary weapon, whose combined effect is even more devastating than either weapon used alone.
The battleground, we must remember, is our own heads. The Big Lie, OCT, raises the general level of anxiety and insecurity by conjuring an ever-present but unidentified "Terrorist" threat, but has no serious pathological effect. It's Us against Them (whoever and wherever they are).
MITOP is the real wolf at the door, because now he is not outside at all but inside with us. Rather, he is both inside and outside, since both OCT and MITOP (Grossman's two worlds) co-exist.
MITOP is particularly threatening to Americans, because our mass culture inculcates so strongly in us that our government is "good." People in many other countries are much less convinced of the inherent goodness of their governments, and therefore much more easily accept the idea that their leaders are, or can be, their enemies. Italians, to take a western example, while remaining "proud Italians," would not necessarily fall apart or even be surprised to learn that their government is full of lying, murderous scoundrels. We Americans, however, are conditioned to identify with our government, and since MITOP identifies the government as the Enemy, it is tantamount to the fully schizophrenic view of Ourselves as the Enemy, the inimical Other. As long as we actually believe the government is democratic -- which it most certainly is not -- we will have this problem.
From the perpetrators' viewpoint, the illusion of democracy works perfectly to maintain the schizophrenia that results from the co-existence of the two contradictory worlds of OCT and MITOP.
Why is this good -- for them? Orwell defined doublethink in his novel 1984 as
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them".To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies"
In more clinical terms, this is what is called a double bind:
The double bind is often misunderstood to be a simple Catch-22 situation, where the victim is trapped by two conflicting demands. While it is true that at the core of the double bind are two conflicting demands, the difference lies in how they are imposed upon the victim, what the victim's understanding of the situation is, and who imposes these demands upon the victim. Unlike the usual no-win situation, the victim is largely unaware of the exact nature of the paradoxical situation he or she is in. This is because a demand is imposed upon them by someone they regard with respect, and the demand itself is inherently impossible to fulfill.
Doublethink can be thought of as the end point of the double bind, the point of no return, of complete insanity. One is not just schizoid but stark raving mad.
The double bind is the conflicting demands imposed on us by OCT and MITOP. Both theories emanate from people we respect. The anti-OCT people have much more trouble establishing their respectability than the OCT supporters, of course, but I think it is fair to say by now that this has happened. There are scholars for 9/11 truth, pilots for 9/11 truth, architects and engineers for 9/11 truth, veterans for 9/11 truth, students for 9/11 truth, "patriots" for 9/11 truth, movie stars for 9/11 truth, etc. We have respectable sources on both sides. Yet we know that both sides can not be correct.
Lev Grossman treats this as a lack of "consensus reality," as if it were a disagreement over a truly insoluble question, thus granting a degree of legitimacy to both "worlds," as he puts it, even though he obviously favors World No. 1. If he actually believes this, he is deeply schizophrenic. He is caught in a double bind, and since he does not know how to get out of it, he is helpless and completely disempowered.
This is precisley the goal of these mind-control strategies -- to make all of us feel helpless. In order for the few to control the many, they (the few) must either use physical force or psychological force. The latter, historically, has proven more effective. Noam Chomsky has often pointed out how concepts like "manufacturing consent" and the "philosophy of futility" have originated in the constant struggle of the "political class" (in Orwell's terms, the "Inner Party") to control the "rabble" (us):
When you have a formal democratic system, when people have won rights after years of struggle, like the right to vote and participate in elections, you have to take the risk out of democracy by ensuring that there is very little substance to their democratic choices.
This is done by organising the world so that the major decisions are not in the public arena. And by imposing on the people - I am now quoting from manuals of the public relations industry - a "philosophy of futility". This is done so that the attention of the people is focussed on the superficial things of life like fashionable consumption.
From infancy children have drilled into them, from television, advertising and in every possible way, that they have to have a "philosophy of futility" as far as serious decisions are concerned and that they have to perceive themselves as passive consumers. It does not really matter what you know about the world. The less you know, the better.
That is the model. It does not work, but that is the model. The rabble never accepts this. It continually resists and struggles against this. That also requires the use of other techniques to try and control people. The elite media are mostly directed to the small decision-making sector - people who make choices in decisions that run society. They have to be properly indoctrinated by not just the media but by the education system and everything else. The true mass media that go to the general audience, they mostly distract, making people pay attention to something else -- popular music, purchasing. [Frontline, November, 2001.]
Paul Nystrom was talking in 1928 about keeping people feeling helpless so they would be good consumers:
One's outlook on life and its purposes may greatly modify one's attitude toward goods in which fashion is prominent. At the present time, not a few people in western nations have departed from old-time standards ofreligion and philosophy, and having failed to develop forceful views to take their places, hold to something that may be called, for want of a better name, a philosophy of futility. This view of life (or lack of a view of life) involves a question as to the value of motives and purposes of the main human activities. There is ever a tendency to challenge the purpose of life itself. This lack of purpose in life has an effect on consumption similar to that of having a narrow life interest, that is, in concentrating human attention on the more superficial things that comprise much of fashionable consumption.
But the same idea applies, as Chomsky says, to making and keeping people "good citizens," i.e., people who will accept the choices offered to them and not demand more.
What better way to make us feel helpless than to put us in the double bind of OCT and MITOP?
I am not a psychiatrist, but it is clear that the first thing we have to do -- and I am talking now about regaining our sanity, not necessarily putting the 9/11 murderers in jail -- is recognize the problem. The double bind is essentially a communication problem. 9/11 truth must out. There is only room for one reality, one world. If that leaves us with MITOP, we can deal with it, because the truth is that we are not helpless. We are only helpless if we believe we are helpless, and that is what must change.