Jonathan Kay’s Cult Politics
It’s certainly illuminating watching the advance promotion of Jonathan Kay’s selective history of crackpot conspiracy theory, a book is designed to throw a net over every person who questions the official story of 9/11. The national media has fallen over itself to praise the book long before its release. The latest tactic has been to link “birthers” with “truthers.” Personally, I never went for the bait on Obama’s birth certificate. But when finally produced, it was employed for maximum political advantage. In case of major political conspiracies, the intelligence agencies control the details. That’s one reason why they fostered a “truth” network obsessed with micro-details. They’ve created a landscape they can dominate, a landscape they have pocketed with “rabbit holes” leading nowhere. Meanwhile, as everyone becomes transfixed by micro details and following rabbit holes, the big picture disappears.
In his Salon interview, Kay makes a couple of interesting statements:
“In the case of 9/11 conspiracy theories, the original theories were created in late 2001. But when they really took off was 2003 and 2004 when it was discovered there were no WMDs in Iraq, and people did feel deceived….It’s a cult. And you can’t disabuse a cult member of their beliefs, because it’s central to their identity. Hardcore conspiracy theorists are attached to their conspiracy theories with the same force of conviction that religious adherents are attached to their religions. You can’t rationally convince someone not to be a Christian or a Scientologist. That’s their identity, that’s who they are.”
Kay is flat-out wrong on his timeline concerning the “truth” movement. Within days of the event, websites and discussion groups were flooded with wild conspiracy stories, the first of which was that “no planes hit the Twin Towers” (but they were brought down by holograms and super-advanced explosives). Very quickly followed the “no plane hit the Pentagon,” and this was the deepest rabbit hole of all. Finally, “no plane crashed in Pennsylvania.” A deluge of this material seemed to arrive all at once, as if prepared in advance.
As part of this campaign, all video and photos from the Pentagon and surrounding area were immediately confiscated and only one set of images has been released, and they show only an explosion with no plane in sight. If, someday, the Pentagon decides to release a photo or video of the actual plane hitting the building, it will be handled with maximum propaganda effect to silence the conspiracy community.
In the USA only 16% of people believe the government’s version of events, while in Germany, 90% of the people believe our government was actually involved. And yet, according to Kay, any American who fails to toe the government line should be branded a “truther” and shunned from the corridors of sanity? I hope someday Congress can actually instigate a real investigation and follow the evidence wherever it goes. And in the meantime, can we stop branding intelligent people as cultists, especially considering we’re in the majority?