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OpEd — More than a movement — the search for 9/11 truth is an awakening

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By Kevin Quirk
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jul 21, 2008

A year ago, I announced in this forum the launching of my survey for a book
that would compile personal accounts of ordinary people active in the 9/11 truth
movement. Since then, I’ve been gathering dozens of revealing, often moving
stories from inside and outside the U.S., and I’ve begun to put a shape
to Voices for 9/11 Truth. Along the way, I’ve come to believe that what
we call the 9/11 truth movement is not really a movement per se. It’s
something else, something potentially more important, more meaningful, and maybe
even more impactful.

First, the obvious: we’re not exactly a homogenous group. Yes, there
is a shared commitment to prompt a thorough and impartial 9/11 investigation
and unravel the sinister mess behind the crime and cover-up, but we’re
not linked by bloodlines, gender, age, economic status, or any other common
entity. We’re no clearly defined, pre-established group seeking a platform
to gain rights or power — and anyway, we’d be hard pressed to put together
a thousand members for a rally, let alone hundreds of thousands. In fact, what
I’ve been most struck by in fielding these personal accounts and interacting
with the gutsy people behind them is the wide diversity of those who believe
that 9/11 was orchestrated from within our government.

That diversity should strengthen the sense of real community among 9/11 truthers
while further dispelling the government and corporate media’s ridiculous
attempts to marginalize and pigeonhole those who conclude that 9/11 was clearly
an inside job.

We’ve all seen how some of the more visible members of the 9/11 truth
movement highlight their professional standing: scholars for 9/11 truth, engineers
and architects for 9/11 truth, etc. Understandingly, they believe that impressive
titles or credentials are essential in establishing credibility of the evidence
— and the movement itself. But as I’ve dug deeper into who’s really
out there spreading the truth about 9/11, I’ve found an inspiring assemblage
of ordinary people from all walks of life. I’ve heard from priests, veterans,
entrepreneurs, lawyers, therapists, technicians, comedians, students, writers,
broadcasters, salespeople, homemakers, a DVD producer, a former intelligence
officer, and a former member of FUNY, as well as those who happen to be engineers,
scholars, and scientists. The credibility of the average person plastering their
towns with 9/11 truth DVDs, organizing grassroots lectures and rallies, or just
trying to convince family and friends, comes not from their status but from
their passion, their commitment, and the authenticity of what they believe and
how they proclaim it, even in the face of rejection and scorn.

Geographically, Voices for 9/11 Truth have come from the Northeast, Midwest,
South, and Far West of the U.S., as well as from several provinces of Canada.
I’ve also heard from 9/11 truth activists from England, Spain, France,
Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, and Japan. Ages range from over-70 retirees
to a middle-school student who debates teachers on 9/11 in the classroom. Socio-economical
levels vary from struggling recent college grads to one truther sporting a 9/11
bumper sticker on a Porsche Boxster.

Even more striking has been the rich diversity in religious and, yes, even
political backgrounds. My survey has attracted fundamentalist Christians, as
well as Catholics, Jews, Mormons, agnostics, and those with more eclectic religious
or spiritual leanings. In politics, respondents have in no way been limited
to the ranks of Progressives, Greens, or Libertarians. I’ve compiled profiles
from Independents, mainstream Democrats, and several Republicans, including
those who, pre-catching the 9/11 truth wave, voted for Bush in 2000 and even
’04!

If we’re all nuts, it’s one hell of a holiday variety pack.

So the 9/11 truth crowd hasn’t come together because of something we
are. Rather, we came to the same place through something that happened inside
our psyches and spirits.

That’s why I see this more as a 9/11 truth awakening. Beyond the basic
questions of who really did it, and all the hows and whys that go with it, diving
into 9/11 truth for many becomes a personal and even spiritual process. It stirs
us to ask deep and profound questions: Who am I and what do I really believe?
How do I know what I know? How would it change my life if I admit that “Dad”
or any authority figure is really capable of the unthinkable? What does it mean
to wake up and tell the truth every day — to myself, first, and then to those
around me who may ridicule me for what I say?

The first question I ask my respondents is how and when they first rejected
the “official” government story and came to believe or strongly
suspect our government’s involvement in 9/11. For some, the “aha”
came within months, weeks, or even days (or hours) of the attacks. But many
others did not cross that threshold until two, three, or even four years after
9/11. Reading David Ray Griffin, watching Loose Change, or coming across some
other compelling source of evidence may trigger an initial exploration, but
most don’t make the leap to the “other side” without some
real soul-searching.

It’s more than just getting past cognitive dissonance. For many people
I have heard from, embracing 9/11 truth has meant a massive overhaul of how
they see themselves, their government, their media, their jobs, their churches,
their families, and everything else around them. It’s little wonder, then,
that when I ask how their involvement in 9/11 truth has changed their lives,
many respondents paint a portrait of a major transformation and a lasting spiritual
experience. They don’t speak as converts to some fundamentalist “ism,”
but rather as grounded and aware people who feel like a veil has been lifted.
Some are angry, or frustrated by the lack of action on the get-the-bad-guys
front, but almost all are grateful for the personal change as they display amazingly
creative and resourceful ways to open the doors for others to glimpse 9/11 truth.
And the veils are coming off for more and more folks every day. As a former
spiritually-oriented counselor and writer committed to both personal and cultural
change, I’m especially heartened by this part of the 9/11 truth picture.

I’m searching for a potential publisher for Voices for 9/11 Truth, a
daunting challenge in a climate where a best-selling author like Steve Alten
had to veer far from the mainstream publishing world to find a home for The
Shell Game — a book that weaves 9/11 truth evidence into a novel! But as I
wait and hope for a change in the weather, I’m trying to keep perspective.

We all want to see our culture act from the truth of what really happened on
9/11. We want Congress to wake up. We want the corporate media to wake up. We
want not just a real investigation but real justice for the perpetrators. All
that’s imminently worth our continued time, energy, and passion. But even
if that sea change never happens — as it sure hasn’t happened for so
many other covert operations — let’s get clear about one thing. This
9/11 truth awakening can never be called a failure.

Kevin Quirk, a former journalist, is an author, editor, and personal historian
with A Writer’s Eye. He can be reached at kevin (at) awriterseye.com.

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