New York City activist

September 15, 2009

Ted Gunderson, fake whistleblowers, and the “Patriot movement”

In the TruthMove forum, Mark has called attention to the news story Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make birthers look sane by Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers, Friday, August 28, 2009.

This story mentions Ted Gunderson, who, back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, was also a major proponent of the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare.

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September 8, 2009

On “conspiracy theory” and democracy — Important P.S. to “To debunkers”

I wrote “To debunkers” last night, shortly before going to bed. This morning I realize I left out something very, very important.

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To “debunkers”

Soon I’ll be soliciting feedback from a few 9/11 “debunkers,” as well as people in the 9/11 Truth movement, regarding my draft pamphlet.

But first, here’s a little about me and my more general point of view, and the evolution of my views on 9/11. I’ll also say a little about my views on “conspiracy theories” and what I call grand conspiracy ideology.

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September 7, 2009

Interesting stuff in the Truth Action forum

In July, I participated for a while in the Truth Action forum. Alas, I thereby used up some time I might have otherwise had for deeper research into 9/11 itself. But I ran across a bunch of interesting threads pertaining not just to 9/11 but also to other issues as well, including some of my concerns about the 9/11 Truth movement.

Looking back again now at some of those threads ….

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July 12, 2009

Back from a long hiatus

Hi! I’ve been away for a long time

I’ve been busy with other things over the past year, such as a new job. Also, my views and priorities have changed somewhat. But, over the next few weeks, I will now take the time to post updates on my views, and to do some further research.

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December 24, 2007

“United States corporation” and the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 – more anti-“banker” misinfo (disinfo?)

Recently, someone urged a bunch of us to Google “United States corporation.” Supposedly, we would thereby learn about some horrible legislation, passed by Congress back in 1871, which somehow managed to nullify the U.S. Constitution by changing “Constitution for the United States” to “Constitution of the United States.”

Offhand, it doesn’t seem likely to me that a law passed by Congress could change the wording of the Constitution itself. That would require a Constitutional amendment. When I asked for more details about the alleged law, the person who had brought it up said he hadn’t yet researched it in detail himself, but he urged us all to Google it ourselves anyway. He seemed to think it was terribly important that we all learn about this horrible betrayal of the American Republic.

Okay, here goes. I Googled it. To make my search more specific, I Googled “United States corporation 1871.”

The “Act of 1871” is the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871.
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December 23, 2007

Please do NOT trust Eustace Mullins as an authority on the Federal Reserve System!

Two days ago, I noticed that someone had found my blog via the Eustace Mullins tag here on WordPress. The only other post listed there, besides one of my own, was a post on a blog called tobefree: jeff’s freedom pages, owned by one Jeff Fenske. The post in question consists of just a quote from Mullins’s book Secrets of the Federal Reserve.

Jeff Fenske’s About page starts off with a picture of a license plate which says “NOHATE.” That being the case, I hope he’ll be willing to listen to reason regarding Eustace Mullins.
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December 19, 2007

Screw Loose Change – reply to some recent posts

I’ll now comment on an assortment of recent posts at Screw Loose Change.

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November 10, 2007

Truth Action forum discussion about “bankers,” anti-Illuminism, and the religious right wing

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.
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November 4, 2007

Taking responsibility for counteracting bigotry in our midst

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:
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November 1, 2007

Fractional reserve banking: A response to some of the hullabaloo

The banking system is certainly not above criticism. However, as I pointed out in a comment after my post on Chip Berlet and “conspiracism”, there are at least three reasons to be wary of some of the allegations about the Federal Reserve System that have been circulated widely in the 9/11 Truth movement:

  1. Many of the more inflammatory allegations originated in anti-Jewish propaganda. Although the people who repeat these allegations are not necessarily Jew-haters themselves, and although the anti-Jewish origin of a claim does not, in itself, prove the claim to be false, it is a good reason to be suspicious. At the very least, it’s a good reason to double-check the accuracy of the claim rather than repeat it uncritically. An example is the claim that the Federal Reserve System makes huge profits that go into the pockets of the owners of member banks, a claim I questioned in my post about Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System. I subsequently learned that one of the main sources for the more extreme claims about the Federal Reserve System is Eustace Mullins, a notorious Jew-hater.
  2. For more information, see:
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October 27, 2007

Agent-baiting, guilt by association, and religious bigotry

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.
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October 17, 2007

More about anti-Illuminism

While looking for info I could use in a pamphlet against anti-Illuminism, I came across Pat Robertson, Illuminism, and the New World Order by S.R. Shearer, a conservative Christian who opposes anti-Illluminism and some other fascist-like trends within the religious right wing. Of particular interest to me was footnote 11 of section II:

The linkage here that Robertson is attempting to make between the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers is critical in the modern day version of the Illuminati Myth; the conjunction is necessary in order to tie the Old World to the New World in the grand scheme of things – and how better to do it than by uniting what most people consider to be the wealthiest family of the Old World to the richest family in the New. All variations of the myth make this linkage; some versions even attempt to paint the Rockefellers as Jews – they were in fact Baptists. The fall back position apparently has been to tie the Rockefellers to Jacob Schiff (a Jew), and then join the Rockefellers to the Rothschilds using Schiff as the linkage – which is precisely what Robertson does here – using Warburg and the Aldrichs as additional ties. All this is straight out of the “Jewish-World Conspiracy.”

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October 14, 2007

Chip Berlet and “Conspiracism”

Chip Berlet is a leftist writer who opposes the 9/11 Truth movement. In my opinion, he raises valid objections to what he calls “conspiracism” (which he distinguishes from the kinds of conspiracies that are actually likely to exist). But he wrongly classifies, as full-blown “conspiracism,” the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. Thus he echoes what seems to be a key propaganda ploy on the part of those covering up major crimes by high-level people within the U.S. government, namely lumping the evidence for such crimes together with some truly wacky (and truly dangerous) ideas to create the stereotype of the nutty “conspiracy theorist.” Berlet also, apparently, either ignores or has not yet looked at some of the better evidence for government complicity in the attacks of 9/11. On the other hand, I also think that what Berlet calls “conspiracism” is a genuine and dangerous trap which too many people in both the 9/11 Truth movement and the anti-war movement have fallen into, and it would be wise to pay attention to critiques of same.
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October 12, 2007

The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati

In both the antiwar movement and the 9/11 Truth movement here in New York City, I’ve often run into people talking about “the Illuminati.” In the antiwar movement, I haven’t yet run into this in any official statements by any leaders or groups, but I’ve run into it a lot in informal conversation at anti-war rallies and at informal gatherings in restaurants after meetings. In the 9/11 Truth movement, on the other hand, a few of the major leaders and groups officially promulgate an ideology which has no official name, but which I will refer to as anti-Illuminism.

Anti-Illuminism is sometimes referred to, by its opponents, as “Illuminati conspiracy theory,” a term I don’t like because of the frequent propagandistic use of the term “conspiracy theory” to lump together truly wacky conspiratorial claims, such as Henry Ford’s The International Jew and David Icke’s claims about the Queen of England being an alien lizard, together with more reasonable theories about possible government wrongdoing, thereby discrediting the more realistic theories.

So, I’ve chosen instead to resurrect the late-1700’s word “anti-Illuminism.” (For some history of that word, see the Amazon customer review of The Politics of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790 1977 by Seymour Martin Lipset; Conspiracy Nation‘s review of Architects of Fear by eorge Johnson, reviewed by Brian Francis Redman; this page of Constructing Postmodernism by Brian McHale; and The Anti-democratic Movement by Paul de Armond.)

Based on what I’ve looked at so far, I’ve not yet found any good evidence that the Illuminati still exist, let alone that they secretly control the world. Most of the “evidence” I’ve seen so far has revolved mainly around various organizations’ use of particular symbols, as if the different groups couldn’t just be stealing ideas from each other, or perhaps using the same symbols to mean different things.

I also have big problems with many of the political beliefs and aims that typically accompany – and follow naturally from – belief in “the Illuminati.”
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September 30, 2007

Are you a paleoconservative? Find out!

Are you a paleoconservative? You might be a paleoconservative without knowing it. Many paleoconservatives, especially within the 9/11 Truth movement apparently, are unaware that their political stance has a name.

Some paleoconservatives think of themselves as “neither left nor right,” because they agree with the left about some things, such as the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s attacks on constitutional rights, while they agree with the right about other things, such as income tax.

Some youthful paleoconservatives like to believe not only that they themselves are “neither left nor right,” but also that “left” and “right” are nothing but artificial constructs set up by the powers-that-be as some sort of deliberate top-down scheme to divide people and distract people from the alleged “real issues,” whereas these young folks fancy that they themselves have broken out of the “Matrix” and found the Real Truth. Of course, young folks are always omniscient…. As far as I can tell, most of these kids have delved into the history (or, at least, the alleged history) of secret societies but not the history of political movements or the history of political thought. But I digress.

The term “paleoconservative” was coined and adopted by conservatives who opposed the neoconservatives. Far from being “neither left nor right,” paleoconservatives can arguably claim to be more genuinely conservative than neocons like Bush and Cheney.

So, what is paleoconservativism, exactly?
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September 29, 2007

The 9/11 Truth movement needs a more visible, better organized left wing!

If indeed a cabal within the U.S. government orchestrated or was at least somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks, this shouldn’t be just a left wing issue or a right wing issue. It should be a matter of concern to all Americans, regardless of our political views on other matters. A healthy 9/11 Truth movement should include people and groups with a wide range of opinions about this country’s problems in general and how they might be solved, and who disagree on many different issues, yet who are able and willing to work together on the few goals we can all agree on: (1) finding the real perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and bringing them to justice, and (2) opposing the things that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for, namely the wars, torture, imperialism, the attacks on civil liberties, and the attacks on the constitutional separation of powers. And indeed the 9/11 Truth movement does include people of many different political persuasions, including quite a few left wingers.

But the 9/11 Truth movement today is dominated by several flavors of paleoconservative ideology. For example, I’ve seen a lot more support for Ron Paul than for Dennis Kucinich. There’s also a lot of focus on the Federal Reserve System an important concern in its own right, but probably of only marginal relevance to 9/11, unless you happen to believe in an ideology which blames all or most of the world’s ills on a conspiracy of the big bankers. (I’ll be writing more about this later. For now, see my blog entry on Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System.) There’s also a lot of talk about that bugaboo of the religious right wing, the “New World Order.” Also the 9/11 Truth movement has attracted more than its share of global warming deniers (e.g. Alex Jones), Holocaust deniers, and outright Jew-haters (e.g. Eric Hufschmid, Christopher Bollyn, and American Free Press). As far as I can tell, only a small minority of people in the 9/11 Truth movement agree with the Jew-haters, but they are a highly visible minority, some of whose writings and videos are referenced in the better-known videos such as Loose Change and even 9/11 Mysteries.
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September 28, 2007

Richard W. Behan’s “War on Terror” article, Mikkelina’s blog, and income tax

Thanks to Mikkeluna’s thoughts for calling attention to The Mega-Lie Called the “War on Terror”: A Masterpiece of Propaganda by Richard W. Behan, AlterNet, September 27, 2007. This article contains a concise history of Bush’s and Cheney’s pre-9/11 plans to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq, for which 9/11 then provided a convenient excuse.

“Mikkelina’s thoughts” is a blog here on WordPress which contains posts in support of the 9/11 Truth movement. I was glad to see that it also contains posts that appear to be somewhat left-leaning, including When will the American people yell: ENOUGH!, in which Mikkelina endorses Michael Moore’s call for universal healthcare, and Governor Schwarzenegger: Sie sollten sich schämen!
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September 26, 2007

Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System

In the right wing anti-establishment alternative media, there’s a lot of focus on the Federal Reserve System as the alleged root of many of this country’s ills.

I’m inclined to agree that the Federal Reserve System puts too much power in the hands of bankers and that that’s probably a bad idea. However, some of the anti-Fed rhetoric I’ve been reading lately strikes me as greatly exaggerated.

It is alleged by some people that the Federal Reserve System is, in reality, nothing but a private banking cartel, “as federal as Federal Express.” (See, for example, JFK vs. The Federal Reserve by Anthony Wayne and Proof of the Banking Conspiracy: A Message from the Past by Randy Lavello.) Some have alleged, further, that the Fed’s sole real purpose is to make money for the banks by putting the government and all the rest of us deeper and deeper in debt. And it is alleged that at least some of the big bankers, in order to maintain their deadly grip via the Fed, are the main conspirators behind various crimes such as the JFK assassination, 9/11, etc.
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