The Truth is Not Enough: How to Overcome Emotional Barriers to 9/11 Truth
by Ken Jenkins
How many times has this happened to you? You are explaining to someone some of the rational, logical reasons why the official story of 9/11 can’t be true, perhaps explaining how WTC 7 fell in the exact manner of a professionally planned controlled demolition — a job which would typically take weeks to prepare — when out comes a ‘thought stopper’ phrase like:
“That’s just another conspiracy theory !” or …
“Do you also believe in Big Foot and tin foil hats?”
Or perhaps the person gets angry and/or agitated. Facts no longer matter at that point, and you can tell the person does not want to hear any more. For example, the following response came from someone after they were given a 20-minute summary of 9/11 Truth information:
“I wouldn’t believe that, even if it were true!”
That reaction defies all logic and reason. But it clearly illustrates just how irrational some peoples’ defenses can be. Here are a few more honest responses/defenses:
“As long as my wife and kids are fine and we can live the life style we have, the truth is, I don’t really care what happened on 9/11.” “I would not want to live in a world where such a thing could be true.” “You can’t expect someone to listen to information that turns their world upside down.” “I’m not sure I want to know. If this is true, then up would be down and down would be up. My life would never be the same.” “Look, I have to admit that I seriously resist anyone messing with my worldview!”
Why So Much Resistance to 9/11 Truth?
Such reactions are emotionally based. 9/11 is a very emotionally charged issue. The source of the denial and resistance is FEAR. The implications of 9/11 Truth are very scary for most people to take in. Given that a part of our government’s job description is keeping its citizens safe, it’s terrifying to consider that a secret rogue part of our government will do just the opposite — mass murder those very citizens, in order to advance dark agendas — like wars for corporate empire. To further consider that associated ‘secret teams’ would then put out corporate media cover-up stories, in the form of an elaborate fantasy story backed up with planted evidence, and to think that story was nearly universally accepted without question — this is the stuff of nightmares.
Then there is the difficulty of accepting the self-image shattering realization that we were duped by such cover story lies. 9/11 Truth suggests a very uncomfortable and disturbing worldview, especially to those new to such concepts. The intensity of fear brought up by these vast implications causes defense mechanisms to take over our rational thought processes. Such denial most often overrides rationality.
What’s a 9/11 Truth Activist To Do?
How can we overcome such powerful denial? What knowledge about these emotional barriers can empower us to be more effective in reaching larger numbers of our fellow citizens?
Start out by asking questions to find out what the person you are addressing currently thinks and feels about the 9/11 Truth message. Adjust your approach based on what you hear. Based on their responses, reach out and connect though empathy, to express to them an understanding of their difficult position. It’s not that hard to do — after all, most of us went through a similar process of conversion at some point, when we were in denial and uninformed about 9/11. Let them know about your own doubts, how you had a difficult time believing that the official story was false. Explain how upsetting it was for you to consider the alternative — those very inconvenient truths. Even for those of us who were not upset by the idea of 9/11 being an inside job, there was often a difficulty in wrapping our heads around the enormity of it all. Talk about your own difficulties in rejecting the official story.
Reasons for Resistance to the Truth
There are a number of valid reasons why many of us resist the truth of 9/11. What follows are some major ones.
A. The Big Lie : I’ll start with the ‘Big Lie’ because it was the main barrier that kept me from fully accepting the truth of 9/11 as I was researching it in the weeks after the event. The sheer audacity of pulling off something so outrageous in broad daylight, thinking they would get away with it, and the large scale of it all kept me doubting for weeks. My turning point was learning about what really happened at Pearl Harbor — the many warnings that were ignored, the Japanese secret codes that the US had broken, etc. This new understanding, that the attack on Pearl Harbor was clearly allowed to happen, was what finally had me fully accept 9/11 Truth. The comparable number that were deliberately mass murdered, the scale of the event, the audacity, and the 60 years of largely successful cover-up all showed me that a Big Lie had happened before, and worked to fool most of the public, and not all that long ago. It was only later I discovered these quotes:
“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” ~ J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI
“The masses indulge in petty falsehoods every day, but it would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths. … The bigger the lie, therefore, the likelier it is to be believed.” ~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
B. Major Paradigm Shift : Questioning the official story of 9/11 threatens the foundations of our society, or at least seems to. It challenges our fellow citizens’ belief systems regarding the nature of our government, and even the very nature of our nation. Such questioning is far more profound than, say, questioning a war. Accepting the truth of 9/11 is, for many, a major paradigm shift, an inverting of their worldview. Such shifts risk a period of chaos and uncertainty, which many find scary.
C. Blind Nationalist Faith : 9/11 Truth is a confrontation with the self-image that many Americans have — of their country and of themselves. The self-image Americans have been sold though our school systems and media is that we are the exceptional nation, the good guys wearing the white hats, the bringers of democracy and freedom. Such nationalistic faith can exceed religious faith in its dogmatic blindness. David Ray Griffin has an article on this subject elsewhere in this issue. [See article ps. XX-XX] and, Dr. Griffin also addresses these issues in a DVD titled “9/11 and Nationalist Faith.”
D. Projecting Parental Duties on Authorities : In his book As If We Were Grownups , author Jeff Golden’s thoughtful assertion is that, “We consistently elect [political] candidates who tell us what children would want to hear. Children want to hear that everything is okay, that little is required of them, that they can go out and play or watch TV, and that they’ll be taken care of and protected. In exchange, they are expected to be seen and not heard, to pay their taxes, to take their flu shots, and to not question the authorities.”
E. Admission of Gullibility : Anyone we are introducing 9/11 Truth to now has believed the official story for years. To accept 9/11 Truth they have to admit they were duped, deceived, and manipulated for all that time. That brings up questions of gullibility, naÃ¯veté, lack of perceptiveness, obliviousness, etc. Most of us have resistance to admitting such shortcomings. Astronomer Carl Sagan sums it up nicely:
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been so credulous [i.e. gullible].”
F. The Rabbit Hole Effect — Wider Implications : To believe 9/11 Truth, one also has to believe many other difficult truths, such as:
- Parts of our corporate media must be incredibly corrupt to be complicit in such a massive cover-up;
- There must be a powerful, secret, hidden government that is capable of planning and executing such a horrible and unthinkable act;
- Some of our leaders are more corrupt and malicious than most of us would want to believe.
But one has only to remember the words of philosopher and statesman, Edmund Burke, to understand how corruption tends to prosper especially in good times: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
G. Apathy and Complacency: Radio talk show host Mike Rivero sheds some light on why so many people are apathetic and complacent about changing their beliefs:
“Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one’s self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.”
H. PTSD — Post Traumatic Stress Disorder : 9/11 was first and foremost a psyop, shorthand for a Psychological Operation. It is a term used by secret services like the CIA to describe a class of operations that are intended to manipulate the emotions of populations; it is a form of mind control. The specific intention of 9/11 was to terrorize the American people into supporting the so-called “war on terror,” which is a replacement for the cold war’s “war on communism.” It’s a blank check for the US government and the American military-industrial-complex to attack anyone, anywhere they want, anytime they want — to support the empire.
The psyop initially worked for a vast majority of US citizens, and for many, it is still working.
The terror that so many felt during and after the attacks left many people, particularly in New York City, with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — PTSD. To revisit those events, as is necessary to expose the truth of 9/11, can retrigger that stress and add to the other discomforts that are already intrinsic to that same truth we are revealing. The desire to minimize re-experiencing that trauma causes people to back away. We need to go easy on those who exhibit such stress.
I. Lack of Knowledge of Historical Parallels or Patterns : While not strictly an emotional issue, the ignorance most people have about the many false flag events used to justify wars throughout history also has a psychological component. Our ability to conceptualize new information is dependent on having a frame of reference, that is, already knowing something similar, in order to be able to anchor a new thought. The lack of such historical reference points, therefore, can be yet another source of resistance. This blockage is perhaps the easiest one to deal with — by educating people about the long history of false flag events used for triggering wars.
The Awakening Will Take Time
These are most of the major reasons why so many people resist 9/11 Truth. By understanding them, we can meet people with empathy and understanding, and have more patience with them. Patience is so important because for most, awakening to 9/11 Truth is a gradual process, often taking weeks, months, or even years. In light of that, try to be sensitive when presenting evidence, so as to notice when a person is ‘full’ — when they have heard enough for the moment, and need space to digest and absorb the new, and often, disturbing concepts.
The good news is that with all that is happening now in our post-9/11 world, particularly with the public knowledge of the lies about WMDs and Saddam being linked to al Qaeda and 9/11 that led us into war with Iraq, people’s minds are opening wider every day. More and more people are waking up to the degree of corruption and deception that is routine in our government. Every day they learn more about how the corporate media have been complicit in lies and cover-ups. Trust in such corporate and governmental institutions is now at an all time low, and dropping. This makes people far more open to the 9/11 Truth message. In a very real sense, our job is getting easier.
The truth alone is not enough, but the truth plus strategic thinking, planning and educating is enough to convince most fence-sitters. As David Hutton, author of The Change Agents’ Handbook , says: “You do not have to spend a lot of time and effort on those who strongly resist change. You only have to help and protect those who want to change.” Understanding the various emotional obstacles is an essential part of such a strategy.
It’s been over seven years for some of us who have been working to expose the truth about 9/11. It will likely take several more years, but we will win — as long as we work smart and don’t give up. The truth will be revealed, and the resultant awakening will lead to the kind of deep changes that are so necessary to create a more positive future.
9/11 activist and video producer Ken Jenkins has a degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, and has done extensive postgraduate study in psychology. A pioneer in the 9/11 movement, Ken started presenting his PowerPoint and video productions on 9/11 Truth in early 2002, and has since spoken at five national 9/11 conferences. His first video, “Perspective on 9/11” was originally made for those early presentations. He has since produced ten DVDs with leading 9/11 Truth author David Ray Griffin, including “9/11 — The Myth and the Reality”. He is also a partner in 9/11 TV (911TV.org), which has documented speakers from many 9/11 conferences and events. The resulting DVDs are distributed partly through local cable access channels nationwide. By revealing the “false flag” nature of the 9/11 attacks, it is Ken’s intention to not only help end the current bogus “war on terror” but to also open the way to ending war as a political option on this planet.
All rights reserved. Copyright belongs to the author. (Permission granted to repost at 911truth.org)
Frequently Asked Questions About 9/11
by Ken Jenkins
What follows are concise answers to the most frequently asked questions and objections related to the 9/11 Truth message.
1. “9/11 is ancient history — it’s time to move on.” Our entire world took a radical and dark turn as a direct result of 9/11. As things stand, the phony “war on terror” will continue to last “for a lifetime” as we were promised, wasting resources — human, natural and economic — while justifying empire, repressive police state policies, and keeping people afraid. The Obama administration is shifting the “war on terror” from Iraq back to Afghanistan, and is also now bombing Pakistan. Only 9/11 Truth can reverse this trend of endless war.
2. “Yes, but Bush & Company have left office. Not much we can do, is there?” 9/11 Truth has less to do with the perpetrators than with a corrupt set of systems, which allow psychopaths like Cheney and the neocons to pull off a scam like 9/11. The problems are far more deep and profound than a few bad actors.
3. “How could the whole of the mainstream media be complicit?” A few gatekeepers at the top control the corporate media. Consider this quote from former CIA Director William Colby: “The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” Google “Operation Mockingbird” to learn some of the history of the controlled corporate media. Mockingbird was a secret CIA campaign to influence domestic and foreign media in the 1950s, made public in 1975 during the Church committee investigation. Soon after Mockingbird was implemented, it was assessed to be a ‘spectacular success.’
4. How could such a large conspiracy be kept secret for so long? It must have involved thousands of people? The conspiracy was not all that large. Most likely, only a few dozen people were central to the plot. Others involved were compartmentalized dupes who were not in on the planning. Also, our government has kept many far bigger major operations secret for many years, such as the Manhattan Project (1939-1946.) That Top Secret program was designed to develop the first atomic weapon before the Nazis did during WWII and employed 130,000 people.
5. “What about the guys who you claim ‘wired’ the buildings? Wouldn’t they have spoken up by now?” They are guilty of being part of a mass murder and would likely get the death penalty. They were likely well paid and now living in luxury, most likely outside this country. What would be their incentive for speaking up? If they did so, they’d be instantly silenced by the others.
6. “What happened to all the passengers?” They died. That part of the official conspiracy theory is true.
7. “So, if you don’t believe the official story, what really happened then?” All we know for certain is that the official story cannot be true. We don’t know all the details of what happened. That’s why we want a real investigation — with subpoena powers — to find out what really did occur.
8. “Not even the Bush administration would do something so evil.” These are the same guys responsible for over a million deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus hundreds of deaths of first responders at Ground Zero. A few thousand more mean little to such psychopaths.
9. “The Bush administration was too incompetent to pull off such a complex plan.” The Bush administration only ordered the operation; it was designed and implemented by professionals behind the scenes. Plus, these are the same people who pulled off the major scam of taking us to war with Iraq based on lies, with help from the complicit corporate media. They avoided impeachment for over 50 impeachable offenses. They stole two elections. This is hardly incompetence.
10. “But isn’t terrorism a real threat?” The answer to this is best described by former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook: “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called al Qaeda. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US …”
11. “Didn’t Osama bin Laden confess to doing 9/11?” No. Right after 9/11 he denied any involvement, and later repeated this message. The one alleged confession video has been shown to be a fake, with an imposter, a look-alike playing bin Laden. Also, bin Laden is not even wanted by the FBI for 9/11, due to “a lack of evidence”, according to FBI spokesperson, Rex Tomb.
12. “This sounds like just a conspiracy theory to me.” The official story is a conspiracy theory. It’s by definition a conspiracy because more than one person was involved in planning a crime. And the official story is just a theory because it has never been proven, in a court of law or anywhere else.
13. “Didn’t the 9/11 Commission prove the case?” No, not at all, it didn’t even attempt to. The 9/11 Commission Report started with the assumption that the official story was true. Commission Director and Bush administration insider, Philip Zeikow, wrote a detailed outline for the report before the Commissioners even met, and was in charge of every aspect of the Commission, including writing the final report. They did not consider alternative theories. The report did not even mention the collapse of WTC Building 7.
14. “What possible motivation would the Bush administration have for ordering the 9/11 scam?” The motivation is revealed by the very results that were implemented right after 9/11 ( qui bono ? — who benefits?). It is now known that the Bush administration started discussing how to start wars with Afghanistan and Iraq during their first month in office. 9/11 gave them the pretext for those wars (with some additional lies about WMDs to kickstart the invasion of Iraq). They wanted and got far more power and control. They got all the things that the PNAC (Project for a New American Century) said they wanted in the year 2000. Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Jeb Bush, as well as most of the leading neocons were all members of the PNAC, and signatories on the paper Rebuilding America’s Defenses , which specifically called for “a catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor.”
If we are well prepared to answer these types of questions whenever they come up, we can then be more effective in educating skeptics about the real truth. The most ardent skeptics often make the best Truthers once converted. And once converted, a person rarely, if ever, turns back to believing the big lie that is called the ‘official story.’