2009.05.27 The Truth Wars
I suspected it might happen, but I was hoping for the best from my fellow "scholars" in the 9/11 "research community." Instead, I got the worst. Hence the quotes, because I can no longer have confidence in either their "scholarship" or their sense of "community." This is important not because it tells us anything about 9/11, but because it tells us something about 9/11 truth-seekers. How can we expect to find truth, when the seekers behave so badly (to put it mildly)?
Shortly after I published my article "9/11 Aletheia" on OpEdNews, I was removed from the membership list of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, shortly after that from their forum, and on May 20 I was put on "probation" (the "moderation queue") at 911Blogger.com. I offer myself, therefore, as Exhibit A in my case against the closed-mindedness I criticized in my article.
I have been a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (STJ911.org) since its founding in 2006, when it split off from the original Scholars for 9/11 Truth (911scholars.org) founded by Jim Fetzer. I remained a member of both organizations, because I saw no reason not to. Both, it seemed to me, had their merits. I joined 911Blogger.com at about the same time, and since September 2006 I have made 62 postings to that site.
This history is important, because I am not a "no planer" or proponent of theories of video fakery or exotic weaponry, and I can prove it. My only, cardinal sin is this one recent article where I dared to defend the principle of free discussion.
I fully realize that there are limits to free speech. The Holocaust, for example, does not belong in discussions about 9/11. But to take this as a case in point, in May 2006, in the old Scholars forum, when it was run by Steven Jones as part of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, which he then co-chaired with Jim Fetzer, precisely this subject came up for discussion. I was surprised -- shocked, in fact -- when I vigorously protested and only one other member of the forum supported me. (It was not Steven Jones or Victoria Ashley.) I finally wrote privately to Jim Fetzer, who did not normally participate in the forum, and asked him to intervene, which he did. If Jim had not put a stop to it, I would have left the forum but the discussion would no doubt have continued.
All the more ironic (perverse is more like it) to find the moderator of the new Scholars forum (Jones faction), Victoria Ashley, announcing to the members on Oct. 20, 2008:
STJ does not support theories of exotic weaponry or similar (DEW, nukes, TV Fakery, no planes at the WTC) and will remove from it's membership any who make public assertions about such theories. That is not a personal decision but a scientific, strategic and common sense one -- those theories have no scientific evidence to support them and serve to undermine what our own published researchers are moving forward with by making us appear nonsensical, and cannot be supported by STJ.
This was presumably a reaction to the Draft Bill presented by four (former) members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice to eight members of Congress on Oct. 18, 2008, asking for a new investigation in the light of evidence pointing to the possibility of controlled demolition, and also the possibility of video fakery and the use of non-conventional weaponry in connection with the events of 9/11. This initiative was repudiated by STJ911 on Oct. 22 as a "misrepresentation" of their organization, with Victoria Ashley named as the contact person.
I didn't like the way this was presented on the forum, though, which after all was not public but limited to members of STJ911. So I wrote on Feb. 8, 2009:
I hope this doesn't mean I will be thrown out because I have decided to allow discussion of these "forbidden topics" on my forum (see my post). I will moderate closely and try to keep the discussion rational and civil. It certainly does NOT mean that I endorse everything people say. On the other hand, can I not form my own opinion and have the right to express it? How can progress of any kind, political or scientific, be achieved without open discussion? I understand the arguments -- and as you know they go both ways -- but censorship and forbidding discussion cannot be the right way to go. Fine if you don't want to allow it here, but I (and others) MUST have the right to discuss what we wish elsewhere without threats or intimidation.
The way you have expressed it above, this is intimidation. You cannot dictate what I say, publicly or privately, and if you threaten me with exclusion from this group because I express an opinion you do not agree with (as long as I do not claim that I represent this group, which I have never done and will not do), you have no right whatsoever to take this position. I suggest strongly that you revise your wording.
Needless to say, she did not take my advice, and now I have been thrown out of the forum, and the organization, not because I "misrepresented" them as the other four errant Scholars purportedly did, and not because I support any of the taboo theories (which I do not), and not even because I talk about them -- but because I have said that people who want to talk about them should be able to talk about them without being slandered and ostracized. I suppose this qualifies as making "public assertions about such theories," although no one from STJ911 has bothered to tell me why I have been expelled.
At least 911Blogger had the courtesy to tell me why I am being made to sit in the corner. Allan Giles ("Reprehensor") wrote (see here):
This site does not, and will not promote obvious disinformation like TV Fakery, or the WTC demolition concepts represented by "Directed Energy Weapons" as put forth by Judy Wood, or the "Mini Nuke" idea put forward by Bill Deagle. .
Thus my article is interpreted as promoting "disinformation."
I rest my case. Read my article, and decide for yourself whether these reactions are justified, much less the work of "truth-seekers" or scholars interested in "truth and justice."
But I am a peaceful person. If any of the people I have had issue with wish to join my forum, where all relevant discussion is allowed, I will treat them more fairly than they have treated me, and much more fairly than they have treated some of our colleagues.