When people in the 9/11 Truth movement accuse each other of being government agents, an all too common type of “evidence” is guilt by association. A has some connection to B, who in turn has some connection to C, who in turn has some connection to the CIA or some other spy agency, or perhaps a connection to an elite fraternity such as the Skull and Bones. Therefore, A must be an agent, or at least we should all worry that A might be an agent.
Similar “connections” to the Communist Party were a staple of the McCarthy-era witchhunts back in the 1950’s.
The problem with this kind of “reasoning” is that there are also huge numbers of innocent non-agents who, knowingly or unknowingly, are likely to have indirect connections either to spy agencies or to elite fraternities.
For example, almost anyone employed in any technical field is likely to have an indirect connection to the military and/or to spy agencies, simply because the military-industrial complex is such a vast part of the U.S. economy. But does this mean that all or most nerds are spies? No, that would be impossible. The spy agencies’ budgets are huge, but not that huge.
Similarly, almost any successful religious denomination, mainstream or nonmainstream, is likely to have at least a few wealthy backers. And, in almost any clique of rich people, if you look hard enough, you’ll probably find someone with a relative or two in Skull and Bones, or some similar fraternity. So, if you attend church, you probably have an indirect link to Skull and Bones, whether you know it or not. Does that mean that you’re a spy, or perhaps just a purveyor of some baleful Skull and Bones influence? Probably not. Nor does it likely mean you’ve been turned into a Manchurian candicate, or whatever.
A person’s associations can be important clues, if you otherwise have good reason to suspect something wrong. But they are not, in themselves, evidence that a person is doing anything wong. Nor does a person’s associations combined with mere disagreement with your own opinions, even sharp disagreement, constitute evidence of wrongdoing either.
According to the article Personal Attacks Against Jim Hoffman, various no-planers have claimed that Jim Hoffman was an “NSA spook” on various flimsy alleged grounds, such his employment at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. As the above article states, “MSRI was and is supported by a variety of public and private donors, including numerous corporations, private individuals, and government agencies, all of which is irrelevant to Hoffman’s employment because his salary and overhead were paid entirely by a grant for pure mathematical research.” Apparently certain no-planers just couldn’t stand to have their pet theories challenged, and their response was to shoot the messenger.
On the other hand, an opponent of the no-planes theories has made similarly flimsy accusations, albeit more by insinuation than explicitly, in 911truth.org, Byron Belitsos, and Urantia – research notes by Brian Salter. This page says, for example: “Alex Constantine, a widely respected researcher and author on mind control, cults, and related topcs, writes: ‘The Urantia Brotherhood is a Skull & Bones spin-off.'”
On what grounds does the “widely respected researcher” Alex Constantine allege that the Urantia Brotherhood is “a Skull & Bones spin-off”? Salter quotes Constantine as saying that the Urantia Brotherhood’s holy text was “supposedly channelled by a member of the Kellogg family, which had four members enrolled in Skull & Bones fraternity at the time to book was produced.” In other words, if someone is a member of Skull and Bones, then anything that any relative of that person says or does must be at the behest of Skull and Bones. It’s a little like saying that if any cousin of mine starts a new organization of any kind whatsoever, then the new group is a spinoff of New York 9/11 Truth, because I happen to be a member of New York 9/11 Truth, even if the new group has nothing to do with 9/11.
We’re not told what the other members of the Kellogg family thought of Wilfred Kellogg’s channeling. But that’s, apparently, not important. In some people’s eyes, apparently, the mere involvement of a Kellogg in the founding of Urantia, any Kellogg, is sufficient to brand Urantia an insidious evil, tainting everything it touches.
I personally am no fan of channeling, whether Wilfred Kellogg’s or anyone else’s. However, in my opinion, it’s neither more nor less crazy than the idea that the Bible is the infallibly inspired Word of God. I don’t agree with the latter idea either. But a person’s religion is one’s own business, unless the person tries to push it down other people’s throats. I have no issue with any 9/11 Truth movement leader’s religion or spirituality, as long as (1) it doesn’t inherently interfere with the person’s ability to think rationally about what happened on 9/11 (e.g. by requiring belief in channeled messages claiming that the towers were hit by alien spacecraft), and (2) it doesn’t require the person to try to convert or expel people of other religions in the 9/11 Truth movement.
I staunchly oppose bigotry against nonmainstream religions. As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve run into a shocking amount of religious bigotry among some people in the 9/11 Truth movement. (See my posts The 9/11 Truth movement needs a more visible, better organized left wing! and The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati.) And Brian Salter’s demonization of Urantia, in particular, caught my eye, because, here in New York, one of the reasons for the split between New York 9/11 Truth and We Are Change was that some folks in We Are Change raised a ruckus about Les Jamieson’s involvement in the Urantia religion.
I’m sure that there are plenty of actual Skull and Bones members, not just relatives of same, who are members of mainstream Protestant denominations. For example, George W. Bush is a member of the Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, according to a Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly article Spirituality of President Bush, January 19, 2001. Does this mean that the United Methodist Church is totally under the thumb of Skull and Bones? I don’t think so.
Back to Brian Salter’s article on why we should all be scared of Byron Belitsos:
Some within the Urantia Brotherhood have presented their own research into infiltrations by covert agents and mind control ops. The following site offers very detailed info from such a perspective:
The above site appears to be dead. But the above would seem to suggest merely that Urantia has the same problems with infiltrators as a lot of other groups and movements, including the 9/11 Truth movement. So it doesn’t seem to me like a good reason to fear Urantia in particular.
Salter then quotes an article by “some Urantia followers who have their own doubts about Belitsos.” Their doubts are, essentially, that he’s a heretic who doesn’t believe absolutely everything in the Urantia book, but who also keeps his heretical thoughts to himself and doesn’t talk about them. Salter spins this as yet another reason for the rest of us to be worried about Belitsos too, although this isn’t very logical. If the alleged problem with the Urantia religion in the first place is that it’s under the control of Skull and Bones, then wouldn’t a heretical Urantian would be less controlled by Skull and Bones than an orthodox Urantian? And, if Belitsos chooses to keep his heresies to himself rather than get into arguments with more orthodox Urantians, then this, to me, would suggest that he is less likely, rather than more likely, to push his religious beliefs on the rest of us too.
Anyhow, it turns out that Salter’s main beef with both Belitsos himself and the Urantia religion is their advocacy of a world government. A large section of Salter’s page about Belitsos and Urantia is taken up with quotes showing that “The Urantia Book preaches explicity [sic] in favor of establishing a World Government / World Federalism.” Salter says this is “an important topic.”
Is this political, ideological disagreement between Salter And Belitsos the actual main motive for all the ad hominem insinuations I discussed earlier? It would be far better if Salter could respond with rational arguments against world federalism, if that viewpoint bothers him so much. On his page about Belitsos, Salter does not even attempt to do the latter. Salter seems to have the attitude that if someone has voiced belief in world federalism, that in itself should just be considered incriminating, period.
Alas, there are a lot of people, on both the left and the right, who have trouble understanding that anyone could disagree with them honestly. They seem to believe that anyone who disagrees with them must be either a brainwashed ignoramus or a paid shill. When they run into someone with a contrary viewpoint, they feel that there’s no point in rational discussion or debate. Instead, they prefer just to point to some scary alleged source of brainwashing and/or payment.
In fact, knowledgeable people can have honest disagreements about many things. Paid shills and brainwashing do exist too, but productive dialogue is easier if one gives people the benefit of the doubt.
The Urantia religion advocates a federated world government as the only viable way to have world peace. The proposed world government would be democratic, with a “World Parliament” and separation of powers, and would be built multi-laterally, not imposed via one government’s imperialism. Most leftists and many pacifists would probably agree with world federalism as a long-range goal, with the caveat that it would be very tricky to ensure that the proposed world government is indeed genuinely democratic, with adequate checks and balances, and not a tyrannical oligarchy; hence the goal of a world state should not be approached in a hurry.
On the other hand, right wing populists, who typically are staunch nationalists, utterly oppose any kind of world government. Many of today’s Christian religious right wingers equate world federalism with the reign of the Antichrist.
But the left-wingers and most of the right-wingers in the 9/11 Truth movement can agree that we don’t approve of U.S. imperialism. The right-wingers among us tend to be paleoconservatives, who, in general, do indeed tend to oppose war and imperialism, unlike the neoconservatives who are dominant among mass media “conservatives.” (See Are you a paleoconservative? Find out!.) So, the vast the majority of us can agree on important short-term goals, even though we may disagree vehemently on long-term goals.
Though relatively rare, there are also a few neocons in the 9/11 Truth movement. Brian Salter complains about their presence too, e.g. on his page A look at the 9/11 Truth Statement signers. And another of Salter’s complaints about about Belitsos is that “Belitsos collaborated with Jim Garrison in presenting the 911 Convergence.” This was bad, according to Salter, because Garrison has associated with elite neocons such as George Shultz.
Anyhow, it appears that Salter’s main worry about Belitsos is that Belitsos might promote world federalist ideology within the 9/11 Truth movement.
However, within the 9/11 Truth movement, I’ve seen a lot more promotion of right-wing ideologies than of left-wing ideologies, thanks to the influence of Alex Jones and other right-wing alternative media figures. Examples of right-wing ideologies that have been widely promoted in the 9/11 Truth movement include nationalism (of an isolationist rather than imperialialist variety), anti-Illuminism, and opposition to income tax. So, if someone in the 9/11 Truth movement were to start promoting left-wing ideology for a change, that would merely be a counterbalance. (See The 9/11 Truth movement needs a more visible, better organized left wing! and 9/11 Truth movement conservatives, please stand up now.)
I myself do have one concern of my own about Urantia, which is that some of the channeling sects apparently preach anti-Illuminism. (See The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati.)
But the Urantia Book itself, apparently, does not preach anti-Illuminism. Searching a website featuring an online copy of the Urantia Book, I found only one page containing the word “Illuminati”. Here, the word “Illuminati” seems to be used in a positive sense, as a synonym for Boddhisatva, not in reference to an alleged still-existing secret society of that name. The Urantia Book website also contains only three instances of the term “new world order” (here, here, and here), all of which are favorable too. Of course, as should be evident to anyone but an anti-Illuminist, what the Urantia folks mean by “new world order” is very different from what Bush Sr. meant by that term, let alone the dreaded “New World Order” of anti-Illuminist propaganda.
P.S., 10/30/2007: I just now came across A Urantia, 9/11Truth.org & CIA Mind Control Technology Development Timeline by Alex Constantine. Here, Constantine does NOT claim that Urantia is a “Skull and Bones spinoff,” nor does he cast any other aspersions on the founders of Urantia. Instead this page talks about possible infiltration of the Urantia movement by the NSA and CIA, long after its founding. On this page, Constantine comes across as reasonably cautious, although he nevertheless gives credence to some hard-to-believe claims such as “It is believed that secret technology also presently allows for direct wireless access to an unwitting subject’s visual cortex both for inputting and downloading of realtime awake and dreaming field of vision data.”
I should learn more about the CIA’s mind control experiments. It is known, at least, that the CIA did conduct such experiments, although some of the claims that have been made about them have been rather wacky. (See the thread Judy Wood and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in the Truth Action forum.)
Anyhow, so far I’ve seen nothing to indicate that Urantia is an especially “cultish” (in the sense of especially authoritarian and/or brainwashing) religious movement. That being the case, if indeed Urantia has been infiltrated by the CIA or NSA, then, as I said earlier, it merely has the same problems in that regard as a lot of other groups, both religious and political. So I still see no good reason to be especially wary of Urantia people in the 9/11 Truth movement merely on account of their religion.
P.S., 2/5/2008: I recently responded to a flood of Urantia-bashing in the Truth Action forum by posting an inquiry in a Urantia forum and then posting my findings in the Truth Action forum. No one responded. Hopefully that means I’ve laid this issue to rest.