To the 9/11 Truth activist community,
I began writing this letter before David Ray Griffin wrote his opinion on how the movement should proceed. Having just read his thoughts I am more convinced that I need to share my views. I read his first book on the topic, The New Pearl Harbor. Obviously I believe that he understands the problems with the official story. He was able to create a compelling account for someone who was interested in learning. However; I disagree that the strategy we should employ is to make our argument with evidence.
The story is in fact very simple. Our failure to reach large segments of the population is not a failure of evidence selection or presentation – did we emphasize the right loophole in the government’s official story? Or as Dr. Griffin suggests; did we emphasize the best outright government lie? etc. The problem is much different than that.
Dr Griffin clearly pointed out major problems with the official story in his first book, pointing out more problems will not increase our base (or at least not increase it most efficiently) because those who are going to consider the first points made in his book will be the same people to consider further points.
More importantly those who as yet WOULD NOT consider points from his first book will not change their orientation with more minutia. Below in the following letter I try to explain what I believe must happen, what must change in the minds of naive individuals (naive in the sense that they do not currently know of or accept our line of thinking) for us to be successful; and finally what we can do to most effectively make this happen.
A thoughtful reader’s response to Dr. Griffin’s approach to the challenges we face.
To members of 911truth.org,
Thoughts and questions on strategy.
Have you ever done tests of flyers, for instance, to determine their relative effectiveness in influencing naive or sympathetic individuals? Basically I am asking: have you ever done marketing research?
I have no experience in marketing nor am I familiar with the field, but I do feel that I understand people and especially what makes them believe (or not believe) things. This would be my advice:
I believe less information about the ACTUAL evidence for complicity should be included in flyers and other public outreaches to naive individuals. (Informed individuals, I believe, are another matter. I think that informed individuals will begin to collect information for themselves especially online.) Instead I think that more effort should be devoted to what is called “appeal to authority.”
This is because I believe that people generally do not sift through the information that is presented to them in a rational way. Rather they contextualize the situation especially based on who the information is coming from; determining before any information is imparted whether they will consider it. Calling this a filter, I think would be highly euphemistic. Having established for themselves that information is ok for them to consider, people will then be more likely to consider it, or take notice of it the next time it is presented to them. Appealing to authority too will do this.
What I am saying is that the most mainstream or recognizable quotes and comments should be emphasized, e.g., Zogby International, Daniel Ellsberg, etc. Complex physical phenomena such as explosions and building failures should be downplayed.
Other ways to ‘jog’ the mind might be useful as well. For example, If you were to begin by highlighting the reliability of the American Military, most Americans would identify with that. When you then point out to them that the story promulgated by our government about 911 violates this belief, they will recognize and have to confront ‘competing incredulities’. You can do this with minimal actual evidence.
Only after exposing people to prominent figures of the 911 movement will other tactics be more effective. Tactics such as pointing out conflicts of interest of Philip Zelikow, for instance. Otherwise such information is not worrisome to the naive individual because evil actions by recognizable people are “beyond the pale”. It is only when actions or statements by two recognizable individuals are COMPETING, do they begin to ‘resolve’ this problem. This resolution is ‘thinking’. Before they are confronted with these contradictions of trust in authority no thinking is occurring. Evidence has no authority because there is no trust to be placed in it. We are social creatures and our world is based on relationships and trust. Rational thinking is relatively unimportant. Little thinking is ever actually done unless forced by circumstance.
We need to emphasize the skepticism of Canada’s former DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER & defense minister Paul Hellyer.
We need to emphasize the public questions of Howard Dean – current leader of the nominal (and hopefully someday real) opposition party.
We need to emphasize Janeane Garofalo, Ed Asner, and “that dude who wrote guys are from Mars, women are from Venus” This is how we can reach people.
And finally we need more people of authority to step out. We have a lot of powerful or recognizable people on our side, and you probably know better than I that there are many more such people who are not public with their beliefs.
I would also think that the goal in public outreach is not to convince people per se but rather to effect the greatest change between pre- and post-contact thinking, per unit dollar or per unit effort.
Better advice would be this: Determine the best ways to influence (or for that matter the best means to even reach) naive but potentially sympathetic individuals through marketing research. If you have performed market research I would be interested in the results.
I recognize that a lot of my thoughts might be construed as “anti-democratic” but I think we need to recognize that our problems are greater than merely a failure of grassroots democracy. In addition I believe people really think in some of the ways that I have talked about. Some of it isn’t pretty, but you should also notice that I did say that people do THINK sometimes and working to encourage that is HIGHLY democratic.