Many people in the 9/11 Truth movement are appalled by the blatant Jew-hating of once-respected 9/11 Truth activists such as Eric Hufschmid and Christopher Bollyn. But how should we counter such bigotry?
Some 9/11 Truth activists think the thing to do is simply to refuse to associate with the Jew-haters. But that, in my opinion, is a band-aid solution. We need to address the deeper problem of how some bigoted ideologies, primarily though not exclusively anti-Jewish, are being promulgated these days within various political movements including the 9/11 Truth movement.
Jew-hating ideologies are most commonly promulgated in disguised form. The two favorite disguises seem to be:
- Exaggerated, oversimplified, highly rhetorical denunciations of the banking system, or of “international bankers” – even though the biggest banking families here in the U.S.A. are in fact WASP, not Jewish. (See my previous posts on Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System and Fractional reserve banking: A response to some of the hullabaloo.)
- Anti-Illuminism, i.e. belief in an ongoing, evil, world-controlling conspiracy of the “Illuminati.” (See my previous posts on The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati and More about anti-Illuminism.)
By no means do all believers in either the “Illuminati” or demonized “bankers” hate Jews. Many do not. Some are even Jews themselves. However, these ideologies are historically intertwined with and closely parallel classic Jew-hating myths. For example, some anti-Illuminists have claimed that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Jewish forgery, is entirely true and accurate if you just substitute “Illuminati” for “Jews.” And a lot of the rhetoric we’ve been hearing in the alternative media about the Federal Reserve System is derived from writings such as Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins, a notorious Jew-hater who also believed that Jews ritually kill Christian children. Speaking of ritual murder, there’s also the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare, which often goes hand-in-hand with anti-Illuminism.
What is wrong with these ideologies, besides being largely unfounded in reality, as far as I can tell?
- They help to create a climate in which bigotry can flourish. From either of the two above-discussed ideologies, especially anti-Illuminism, it’s only a very short intellectual step to enbracing classical anti-Jewish conspiracy theories too. Furthermore, as detailed in The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati, anti-Illuminism itself typically entails bigotry against various sorts of people, primarily nonmainstream religions, but even mainstream religions too.
- To almost any Jew who is familiar with the history of bigotry against Jews, these ideologies will seem utterly creepy. Thus they are one of the factors which scare Jews away from the 9/11 Truth movement. Anti-Illuminism also scares politically aware people of other minority religions, e.g. Wiccans. Gays should be scared of it too, because anti-Illuminist propaganda often vilifies gays too as part of the dreaded “New World Order.”
To many other people, anti-Illuminism may seem harmlessly hokey. After all, if a person is going to be bigoted, it’s better to be bigoted against a totally imaginary group of people than against real people. The Illuminati themselves, if indeed they still exist, aren’t complaining. The problem is that many real people – and, in many cases, entire religions – are seen as agents of the Illuminati. So, anyone who opposes religion-based bigotry should be wary of anti-Illuminism.
So, what can we do? The main thing is to educate ourselves and others about these matters. Question the ideologies that pervade the populist alternative media, as well as the ideologies that pervade the mainstream mass media.
Learn about the history of religious persecution. Christians too were once rumored to be an evil cannibal cult.
If you feel that the banking system needs to be reformed, fine, but do your own research on it, don’t just blindly echo right wing populist rhetoric or even “scholars” such as Eustace Mullins. I would suggest purchasing an Economics 101 text book, if you didn’t take an economics course in college. And then, if you happen to live in a city that has a local Federal Reserve Bank building, I would suggest visiting their library, as well as your local public library and university library, if any. Make sure your own critique of the banking system is based on a genuine and sound understanding of economics and finance, not just on political ideology. Of course there are many different schools of economic thought, influenced by different political ideologies; I would suggest learning about a variety of them.
My recommendation is that we oppose the above-discussed ideologies not in a heavy-handed, denunciatory manner, but through rational argument and by educating ourselves and others about the history of these ideologies.