I have never encountered anyone in any sphere of endeavor as thoroughly misinformed as Jason Bermas, another “9/11 Truth Movement” leader, the most defiantly outspoken of Loose Change’s three creators, and its chief “researcher.” On the subject of 9/11, he seems to be completely incapable of getting anything right. Bermas has apparently spent a lot of time watching Alex Jones videos.
In my compilation Loose Change Creators Speak, Bermas mentions 18 conspiracy theories in a single interview, not because he’s reciting a list of them, but because that’s the way he talks. The following is a bit of an “aside,” but I think it’s important to show just how twisted the thinking of the leaders of the “9/11 Truth Movement” can be. Here is a sample of Bermas’ lunacy (pun intended):
“I contend that we may have been to the Moon, not with rocket technology, but with something else and it's secret. Definitely not the Apollo landings – they're a joke.”
“I really do feel like the evidence is there that these guys [U.S. political and religious leaders] are in the occult.”
On politician John Kerry: “This guy practices the occult. He had to in order to get into Skull & Bones [the not-so-secret Yale University club whose membership rolls were published by the school when Kerry was a member]. What ELSE is he capable of?”
Radio host: “And the 9/11 attack itself, is that the European group, or is that more the Americans, like Bush and Cheney?”
Bermas: “These guys in America are able to become billionaires, but they're not the multi-trillionaires that are in countries, basically with a free license to print money. So their power [the Americans' power] can only go so far.”
Host: “So you see it [The people behind the 9/11 attacks] as more of a European-type thing?”
Bermas: “Absolutely. I mean when you look at how bizarre some of these rituals are, and where these things come from...Helmut Schmidt, for instance, former German Chancellor, talks about all the things he used to do, all these Germanic death cults, and he talks about, you know, Bohemian Grove being a sex event and loving the rituals there, it's suspicious to me, man! I mean, I can see that with my own eyes. [I would like to read his eyewitness accounts! –MR] ...You look at things like the Montauk Project, and Boys' Town, and they definitely used, you know, drug addicts, sexual deviants. It's mind control! It's absolute mind control.”
“There was a report out in the past couple of days [on Alex Jones’ website, of course] that the government has been actually recruiting pastors and ministers to go around and say, you know, if something like the bird flu hits, it'll be good to go with, like, FEMA into camps and all these other federally-regulated areas, and they're actually being paid to say this stuff. And taking inoculations, and that is SCARY!”
“Unfortunately, in this country if there is another major event, and if it is incrementalized and larger than the last one, they could declare martial law at any moment, and have forced inocu-lations, and who's to say what they put in your body?”
“Believe it or not, TIVO was working on a brain chip, so that with your TIVO box there it would record what you want, when you want it, and it will base it on your brain patterns.”
If Bermas and other 9/11 “Truth” leaders are so obviously divorced from reality, why am I spending my time doing this? Why not leave them alone to bark at the moon and be laughed at by sensible people?
Answer: because they have been effective at spreading their message. Millions and millions of people have viewed at least part of Loose Change, which is freely available on the internet. I get several emails a week thanking me for my Loose Change Viewer Guide (a major revision – with twice the information and better sourcing – is in the works), because for a time they had bought Loose Change’s propaganda. In August, that guide, which I don’t advertise, had a peak viewer ship of over 30,000 people in one day. That means many, many more people are out there with this stuff rattling around in their heads. Now I understand the meaning of “viral video.”
Even people who aren’t taken in by the more extreme claims of the 9/11 Denier Movement can find themselves thinking that there must be some evidence of US government involvement in the attacks, based on the sheer volume of conspiracist claims. I have yet to see any such evidence, and it’s not for lack of trying.
As mentioned above, the purpose of the protest at Ground Zero on 9/11/06 was to get the attention of the mainstream media. Two days earlier, on 9/09/06, the Loose Change guys and Alex Jones visited Ground Zero. Their cameramen filmed the visit. You can watch it here. It begins with a preamble by Jason Bermas:
"You can just imagine just the flurry of people who are going to be here in memoriam of all those that died on September 11th. Really, we’re gearing up, we’re giving out 10,000 DVDs, we’ve got 1,100 shirts. We’re really gonna make our presence known. Finally the mainstream media is going to have to stop attacking us and start reporting on us fairly, and that’s really our goal."
Bermas then strolls past, and comments on, the large bronze relief of 9/11 firefighting operations, which is on the side of Firehouse 10, across Liberty Street from the World Trade Center.
At 40:33 in the same video, speaking at Ground Zero on the same day, Bermas expresses his opinion of the low character of FDNY firefighters, in answer to a question by Abby Scott:
Months later, after I brought attention to his statement, Jason Bermas posted the following bizarre explanation on the Loose Change Blog:
I would just like to apologize for the comment I made to one Abby Scott on September 9th of this past year. I made the MISTAKE of saying that the firefighters were paid off, I did not mean this, and am convinced some sort of Jedi Mind trick was pulled on me.
I was discussing how if you have a government job and want to keep it, aka Controlled Demolition Inc. you keep your mouth shut. It then moved to the firefighters and some how I said "The firefighters are paid off", and then cited how many of them discussed the bombs in the days after. I DO NOT BELIEVE THE FIREFIGHTERS WERE PAID OFF! I hold them as heroes in the highest regard, and I truly believe that they were threatened in the aftermath of the event that not only traumatized a country, but still affect their lives deeply to this very day. Many of these men have families, and would do anything to keep them safe. I also believe many of them do not, and can not think the worst of their country. I know it was very difficult for me.
So, Mr. Bermas believes, not that the firefighters were paid to keep quiet about what they know, but that they are being threatened to keep quiet. He does not present any evidence to back this absurd claim. He also seems to be implying that the respected firm Controlled Demolitions Inc. was somehow involved in this conspiracy.
Did the 9/11/06 Ground Zero protest achieve its goal of garnering massive media attention? Dylan Avery, writer and director of Loose Change:
"And shame on the mainstream media in general for participating in what can only be de-scribed as a media blackout. Those that did mention it marginalized it dramatically.
We are not conspiracy theorists by any stretch.
We are a growing body of concerned Americans who have both investigated the events and experienced them first-hand, and we are absolutely convinced that our government is hid-ing the truth from us, whatever the truth may be."
Dylan Avery, posting on the Loose Change blog, October 3, 2006: “I find it extremely telling that this article from Mexico gives us more coverage [of 9/11] than anything we experienced from American Mainstream Media combined.”
I believe Mr. Avery is complaining about the lack of positive mainstream media coverage, not about the lack of coverage such as that hilariously dished out by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone on Sept. 26, 2006:
"I challenge a 9/11 Truth leader like Loose Change writer Dylan Avery to come up with a detailed, complete summary of the alleged plot – not the bits and pieces, but the whole story, put together – that would not make any fifth grader anywhere burst out in convulsive laughter."
You can watch a two-part debate between Bermas and Avery of Loose Change, versus myself and Ronald Wieck, on the TV show Hardfire. Part 1 Part 2.