On the Truth Action message board, there are now the beginnings of some discussion about the promulgation of right-wing-style anti-“banking system” hysteria and anti-Illuminism within the 9/11 Truth movement.
In the thread Listening to Air America today on 9/11 Truth, Petros said he liked my blog entry Taking responsibility for counteracting bigotry in our midst. According to Petros:
What you wrote is directly related to the problem with Portland Indymedia (imc). What makes Portland imc special is that among all of the imc groups on the global indymedia network, Portland imc is the one most friendly to 9/11 Truth. This places its editorial group in a unique position, with unique responsibilities.
But the Portland indymedia group is also unique in another way: it is one of the most outspoken groups within the imc network which rejects being identified with the Left. They say they are revolutionaries who are “neither Left nor Right”.
But part of the reason why that imc group in Portland is friendly to 9/11 Truth is exactly that comfort it has with Right wing crap. It’s primarily Right wing material on 9/11 that gets promoted or linked on those pages – it’s not always obvious that they are hate-based materials, but any editor or political journalist/activist should be familiar with the “buzzwords” and names of some of the Right wing ideologies promoted in there
There’s many more problems that have acumulated over the years with Portland indymedia, but since 9/11 Truth has become a prominent element of what they publish, Right-wing material has been more and more prominent in those pages with constant overtones of the “analysis” that Right-wing anarchists tend to promote.
Right-wing anarchism, for many people who are new to the Liberation movement, is exciting and inspiring to many good people who can’t understand what it is – many Leftists get suckered into it because they think it’s a brand of the Left that is somehow opposed to Left authoritarianism. Essentially, we are talking about a social movement that seeks to liberate Capital “from the chains of the State”
The Truth movement is unfortunately full of people who believe things like that, and the Right wing has rendered the Truth movement into a recruiting ground for new members for their racist militias and electoral campaigns.
You correctly pointed out in your article that “oversimplified, highly rhetorical denunciations of the banking system” are often disguised forms of Jew-hating ideology, or at least they are bridge leading to that “conversation” through which racists can discover each other – or through which experienced activists can cultivate racist hatred in a vulnerable new recruit.
I’ve witnessed a lot of this going on the Truth movement in the last few years. Voices such as yours calling for us to take some responsibility on this issue are rare. We need more!
In my reply, I wrote, “In my opinion, what we need is to form some specifically left-wing caucuses within the 9/11 Truth movement, to counterbalance all this right wing stuff. What do you think?”
funhouse1970 thought the idea of left-wing caucuses divisive, whereas chrisc agreed with it.
There then ensued a discussion about “the left/right paradigm,” the Christian religious right wing (anti-gay, anti-feminist, etc.) material on Prison Planet, and anti-Illuminism.
funhouse1970 asked me for examples of anti-gay, anti-feminist, and other religious right wing material on Prison Planet. Lots of it can be found in a section of the Prison Planet website which I linked to in the thread We Are Change – September threads on right wing views, containing copies of some threads from the We Are Change message board.
funhouse1970 also wrote:
I think “Illuminati” is just shorthand for the Network, the Establishment, the Global Elite, etc., same for “New World Order”. AJ knows that the Illuminati of history was short-lived. It’s gotta catchy ring to it though.
It was suggested by chrisc that we move the discussion to another thread. Col. Jenny Sparks suggested the thread Is Portland Indy Media helping promote misinformation?. So I posted a reply to funhouse1970 there.
In that thread, I wrote:
I would strongly recommend NOT using terms like “Illuminati” and “New World Order” as generic synonyms for “the Establishment,” unless you want to sound like a religious right winger, or like a disguised Jew-hater. Those terms do have a history, and certainly not as mere synonyms for “the Establishment.” Referring to the global ruling class as “the Illuminati” makes as much sense as referring to them, say, as “the Communists.” When anti-Illuminism first got going in the late 1700’s, it was that era’s near-equivalent of red-baiting.
Regarding secret societies, I wrote:
But I do think that the role of elite secret societies has been vastly over-emphasized. If the elite secret societies didn’t exist, then members of the ruling class would simply find other ways to gather in private. To me, it goes without saying that ruling class folks are going to hang out with each other. After all, who else are they likely to hang out with? And, when they hang out together, it is inevitable that they will, at least occasionally, discuss ways to hold onto and increase their power. Why wouldn’t they? To me, the elite secret societies are merely a venue, one of many possible venues, for rich folks to get together in private. Ultra-rich folks would still be drafting laws behind the backs of the rest of us even if the only way they ever got together was just informal gatherings at each other’s houses. So, I don’t see the elite fraternities as all that terribly significant in and of themselves.
Other, non-elite secret societies have occasionally played a significant political role, in much the same way that large organizations of any kind, secret or otherwise, can play a significant political role.
The obsession of many right wing writers with secret societies strikes me as, primarily, a form of religious bigotry. Many of these writers (at least many of the ones I’ve seen on the web over the years) obsess a lot about how the rituals of various secret societies include symbolism derived from occultism, ancient pagan religions, and Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) rather than being purely Christian. Supposedly the inclusion of “pagan” or “Satanic” symbolism implies also that these groups practice literal human sacrifice as a religious ritual. That to me seems like a blood libel, with lots of potential nasty consequences for law-abiding non-elite Pagans, occultists, Satanists, etc. Also, the number-one gripe of most of the anti-Masonic writers I’ve run into on the web is simply that the Masons welcome people of all religions, thereby blurring the distinction between “true Christianity” and other religions.
Certainly mass murder by government authorities does exist. However, in today’s world, I think the motive is some perceived practical down-to-earth benefit for the perpetrators, rather than a superstitious belief in spirits who are appeased by literal human sacrifice.
… When something is “hidden,” it’s hard to know exactly what is going on. Therefore, people will draw conclusions based on their own biases. And the bias of Christian religious right wingers is to blame the world’s problems on evil humanists, occultists, Pagans, and Satanists, as well as feminists and gays, when it’s not in fashion to blame the world’s problems on Jews.
We’ll see where this discussion goes. I hope it will be the beginning of some serious introspection on these matters within the 9/11 Truth movement.
P.S.: In a thread titled Who is Captain May?, Arabesque notes May’s “numerology,” apparently a reference to May’s claim that “The date of an attempted attack typically has Kabbalistic or Masonic numerological significance.” Such claims are typical of the anti-Illuminist crowd. Anyhow, some key differences between “Left” and “Right” politics are summed up very well in the thread Chomsky on Ron Paul.