9 - 1 1 R e s e a r c h essays

Discrediting By Association:
Undermining the Case
for
Patriots Who Question 9/11

by
Victoria Ashley

Version 1.2, August 13, 2007


revision history
8/2/07: 911Research publishes Version 1.0 of this essay
8/5/07: 911Research publishes Version 1.1 of this essay
8/13/07: 911Research publishes Version 1.2 of this essay

The website PatriotsQuestion911.com makes a strong case for the important fact that hundreds of notable, credible, professional, and experienced people have serious questions about the official story of the 9/11 attacks. These include government officials, scholars, household-name actors, retired military officers, pilots, and even 9/11 family members, shown in rich color photographs and paired with quotes in their own words along with relevant links. Creator Alan Miller and others helping him have done a laudable job of tracking down and documenting these hundreds of individuals of note and presenting them in an appealing format for easy public understanding of the scope of concerns with the official story.

Unfortunately, the site currently also functions in a different and opposite way, albeit subtle. By presenting, directly alongside the serious and professional notable individuals, the advocates of ridiculous nonsense claims about the 9/11 attacks -- space weapons, nukes, "TV fakery" and even holograms -- the website functions to undermine a serious reader's overall belief that the site, the community, and the individuals are actually as credible as their titles suggest. This is not an extensive criticism of the site, but a specific concern which can easily be corrected, but yet has not been. Currently, individuals like Norman Mineta, Curt Weldon, Daniel Ellsberg and Richard Heinberg are placed on the same lists with Morgan Reynolds, David Shayler, Judy Wood and James Fetzer. Given the history of these individuals in the 9/11 community, such mixing serves the opposite purpose of the ostensible premise of the site.

If one actually clicks on the links of these last four individuals, listens to the talks, or reads the material, there is no question that mixed with the real claims, the bizarre core of what they are advocating amounts to utter nonsense. If the reader is not already aware, here's what they have presented to key audiences:

  • On the day before the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Morgan Reynolds explained to a FOX News audience of millions:
    "there are no big Boeing crashes . . . at all four events . . . what you will see is a fake, cartoon display . . ."
    Dr. Reynolds exposes 9/11 TV fakery on FoxNews; 9.10.06
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=reQZT9Hzvt8 (video)

  • David Shayler explained to reporters at The Times, The Liverpool Echo, and in public appearances recorded on video, that the Trade Center jetliner crashes where faked using "missiles wrapped in holograms", and that:
    "' . . . there is little evidence to show that jets went into the buildings . . . Watch the footage frame by frame and you will see a cigar-shaped missile hitting the World Trade Centre.'"
    9/11 was an inside job says Shayler; by Paddy Shennan; January 22, 2007; The Liverpool Echo
    http://daveshayler.com/print/papers/220107LiverpoolEcho.html

  • Judy Wood sent in her theory directly to NIST in the form of a legal document that energy weapons from space caused the destruction of the WTC Towers:
    "I assert that NIST contractors, as listed in NCSTAR 1, including by way of non-exhaustive example, those listed below, either knew or should have known of the falsity of NCSTAR 1 as it relates to the use of directed energy weapons."
    Request for Correction per Section 515 of Public Law 106-554 SUPPLEMENT #2 to RFC submitted April 20,2007
    http://ocio.os.doc.gov/Sitemap/ssLINK/PROD01_002899 [pdf]

  • Jim Fetzer is the primary force behind publicity and press releases for the claims of Judy Wood and Morgan Reynolds, advocating endless investigation into every possible scenario imaginable.
    " . . . once [Fetzer] had become convinced that thermite/thermate could not explain the extent and character of the destruction, he began encouraging investigation of alternative hypotheses, including lasers, masers, and plasmoids."
    CBS PULLS "HATCHET JOB" ON SCHOLARS FOR 9/11 TRUTH; February 1, 2007;
    http://twilightpines.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=67

Yet, surprisingly, PatriotsQuestion911.com displays these people to the public as though they are serious professionals. Morgan Reynolds, for example, is presented with a glowing vitae of career accomplishments suggesting rock solid credibility, even though one click on a link provided brings a reader to questions about what "objects" hit the WTC Towers, and essays ridiculing Prof. Steven Jones, even calling him "retarded."

Worse, perhaps, is the impact on 9/11 activists - the inclusion of these individuals without pause misrepresents them to new 9/11 activists who will naturally assume that these must be serious individuals. They will promote them to others, link to them on their myspace and facebook pages, in their forum postings and via their email lists. Eventually, ideas featured by these individuals -- such as that real commercial jets never hit the WTC -- can outrank sober analysis exposing the core of the crime in search engine returns, persuading even people skeptical of the mainstream media's objectivity that the 9/11 "conspiracy theorists" are indeed all nuts.

In this way, PatriotsQuestion911.com displays a classic example of discrediting by association -- the bundling of those asserting extreme nonsense claims, with those making genuine, serious, and undeniable claims. The only ones to benefit from such bundling are those with an interest in the crime remaining covered up, unsolved and providing a rationale for endless war.

Table of Contents

Discrediting By Association Requires Denial to Flourish

The typical reaction of 9/11 activists to such a mixing of hoax and rational theories is to deny the relevance of the issue and to downplay any problems. Phrases one typically hears are:

"Well, those are just a few people among many, so it can't really hurt that much."

"But everything else they say is great!"

"I don't think it's a big deal if they aren't 100% perfect."

These are natural first responses -- minimization of the problem -- and not surprisingly, discrediting by association depends on this response to continue to be effective. As long as people are pretending it's okay to say that holograms hit the WTC, the hoaxes remain alive, gain higher search engine ranking, and spread far and wide. And by downplaying the absurdity of the idea that holograms were used as being merely a simple mistake, or just one small issue, the hoax promoters remain protected and unmolested by critique.

Interestingly, if one closely examines these ideas, the level of the absurdity becomes abundantly clear and denying the relevance becomes more difficult. For example, if one considers which people we know personally (not on the internet) who seriously believe that holograms were involved in the attacks, we usually cannot think of a single person. Sometimes a person will show up at local activist meetings who advocates these ideas, but more often than not they are also dysfunctional individuals who tend to disrupt the group at the expense of organizing, or are also presenting anti-social positions to the group, such as advocating racist ideas.

The harsh reality that most activists discover too late is that nonsense advocates are not including nonsense as a subtle aside, or as an occasional mention, or even by mistake most of the time -- instead, typically, they are continuously promoting the hoax ideas front and center from their own websites, at large conferences, in emails, on forums, and via the mainstream media. And no matter how much discussion or debate they engage in, they never waver from their positions.

A common automatic response by those who see through the absurdity of the situation is a good remedy to denial:

"If he believes this he is insane. Clearly he is not insane."

This is the simple truth of many of the situations in which a sane, intelligent, social person claims to believe virtual lunacy around the events of 9/11.

Depositing Misinformation Requires an Entrance Fee

In order to be accepted into an activist group with ideas such as hologram-wrapped missiles, one must typically also possess something which grassroots activists are in need of - important titles, inside information, unique technical abilities, etc. This is nothing unique to the 9/11 truth movement and is common sense. Indeed, they may even have unique, important and genuine information ready to hand over in order to gain their credibility as an asset. This contradiction keeps activists in a quandary -- they are forced to consider if it's a worthwhile trade-off to have just a little bit of nonsense mixed in with the benefits this person offers, like social connections, titles, or insider knowledge.

It is important to note that falling for mis- or dis-information is not a sign of weakness or a failing, but is actually part of a natural human sense of fairness, compassion, and flexibility. Most false claims depend on these admirable qualities to spread. And more than likely, most sincere people working hard to spread truth have been taken in by hype at one time or another before looking into the details. Some prominent advocates of false claims may themselves have been duped or manipulated, or simply don't have the ability to critically evaluate the evidence. Regardless, claims which have been widely and publicly rejected by the vast majority of the 9/11 truth community, and which have gained no support via the evidence in the six years since 9/11, should never be presented to reporters in the mainstream press, NIST, or any other public body. Yet this has happened, repeatedly.

An even more significant problem, however, is when errors are never acknowledged and the necessary corrections are never made. Unfortunately, PatriotsQuestion911.com currently falls into this category.

Despite numerous requests by individuals to remove the hoax promoters Reynolds, Shayler, Wood, and Fetzer -- including requests by individuals invited to be on the site who have then declined because of the inclusion of these people -- the advocates of nonsense are never removed from the site.

Having experienced the reactions of many scholars members who were angered by the split of the scholars group and were then confronted with James Fetzer's ideas -- his ongoing support via links and stories and press releases to Reynolds, Wood, Rick Siegel, etc. -- this writer can report that, by far, virtually every single person rejects such a group. The fact that a prominent website like PatriotsQuestion911.com does not reject the hoaxes at all should be a concern to all activists who care about the basic credibility of the movement.

Self-Serving Leadership

When activists in leadership positions make baseless claims directly to mainstream media, government bodies and large audiences, they are not functioning as leaders, but in a manner more like false prophets or well paid politicians. Sometimes sincere leaders make mistakes. But if mistakes are never acknowledged and corrected, permanent damage can be done. Those "leaders" who repeatedly and irresponsibly recommend the least substantiated claims directly to mainstream media, with full knowledge that these views do not represent the views of the people they claim to lead, they are obviously not interested in actual representative leadership, but in representing only their own beliefs.

Given that no scientific evidence supports the idea that real planes did not hit the WTC towers, that holograms were used, that directed energy beams destroyed the WTC towers, or that nuclear weapons were used on 9/11/01, the question remains, how could supposedly highly eloquent people in leadership positions who have been employed in distinguished government jobs for decades, now be making such claims? Additionally, these are not simply extraordinary claims -- after all, the idea of controlled demolition of the towers seems extraordinary -- but these are also claims lacking any of the necessary evidence. This is in stark contrast to the diverse, abundant, redundant, and measurable evidence that supports the theory of controlled demolition.

Apart from the issue of discrediting serious efforts to expose the crimes, there is the issue of wasting people's time: many researchers and scientists have felt compelled to spend large amounts of time refuting these unscientific claims in efforts to distance the movement from them. Yet websites like PatriotsQuestion911.com are working against these researchers and scientists by presenting them alongside proponents of unscientific claims and failing to acknowledge work refuting those claims.

PatriotsQuestion911.com claims not to know which theories are true except by relying on experts:

I don't claim to know what really happened on 9/11. I cannot examine the facts of the matter first hand. And I don't have the experience to know what's possible and what is unlikely regarding terrorist activities or military operations. For that analysis, I need to rely on experts.

Since PatriotsQuestion911.com's featured experts include promoters of bizzarre claims that are easily proved false, it -- and other websites that similarly feature such experts -- are effectively promoting hoaxes, regardless of personal statements claiming not to have an opinion.

Because false leaders will never move a community toward truth, but rather, only toward their own interests, the strong rejection of baseless claims and those who advocate them, is necessary for the growth of the movement.

PatriotsQuestion911.org's Patriots Advocating Hoaxes

"Here is my assessment. The reason for the discrepancy between what people know about 9/11 and what they are willing to do to stop the War on Terror; the reason we have ultimately failed, in other words, has to do with the scope and sophistication of the political and social control mechanisms used against us; namely, disruption and disinformation. I have been an activist for 20 years, and I have seen and experienced COINTELPRO-style disruption many times in the past. Yet never before have I witnessed it used on such a scale and with such precision as I have within the 9/11 Truth Movement. There are thousands of examples."

The Special Case of Morgan Reynolds and David Shayler

Morgan Reynolds and David Shayler function pairwise across the Atlantic -- they are seen as highly educated and articulate people who have held significant positions in government, but who now appear to believe that real commercial jets didn't hit the WTC. Because Shayler and Reynolds are extremely eloquent speakers, the situation becomes all the more difficult for activists who have trouble making sense of this surreal situation, and typically end up stating that they "just hope that they won't bring up 'no-planes' when the spotlight is on."

The contradiction in logic presented by the cases of these two is stark, unbelievable, and yet surprisingly similar overall. Apparent former government insiders are loudly making the case for "inside job" to the public for the benefit of the grassroots activists (the little people), and yet both are casually mixing the real issues with virtual insanity.

Average people cannot help but wonder, "is this for real?," "Have they gone nuts?," or "Are they still working for the government?" One sees such discussion on blogs and forums often when the names arise:

David Shayler (far left) in an event with David Ray Griffin (right)
J.UL1R4 said...
"I got the chance to chat with David Shayler afterwards, who was drawing quite a crowd around him. I was a little surprised to hear him talk about holograms, and it seems Shayler may be a 'no-planer'. . . I honestly don't know why he was discussing this theory."

Anonymous said...
"David Shayler is still working for MI5. The fact that you report that he is a 'no planer' confirms this for me."

J.UL1R4 said...
"I did notice Shayler and his partner seem to have something of an entourage with them, which seemed like reasonable, warm intelligent people so it's strange."

Anonymous said...
"If he believes this he is insane. Clearly he is not insane."

Even the UK press asks if Shayler wasn't somehow replaced by someone else, perhaps only half jokingly. Yet inside the activist community itself, websites like PatriotsQuestion911.com ask no such questions at all. They quietly hum along as though everything is just fine.

Although recent reports about Shayler giving a speech claiming to be a messiah suggest that he may indeed be showing signs of mental dysfunction, such a situation would only underscore the disappointing delay in the 9/11 community to address these glaring inconsistencies of logic which have been in the mainstream press from Shayler for years now.

While the supposed arguments supporting "no-planes" have been easily refuted by scientists and other professionals published in the Journal of 9/11 Studies, Reynolds and Shayler, neither having any background in science, claim to know better or act as though they do, by presenting the claims directly to mainstream media. This is opposite to democratic leadership, in which a leader welcomes expert advice and wide support in decision making.

MORGAN REYNOLDS

"We gasp at Jones' "analysis" of tower oscillation. Can a Ph.D. physicist be this retarded?"
"It is not my burden to prove what really happened. That burden lies entirely with apologists for the official plane story like Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman, not the skeptics, must prove that four Boeing airliners crashed as government and corporate media say they did."
We Have Some Holes in the Plane Stories; Morgan Reynolds; March 5, 2006
http://nomoregames.net/index.php?page=911&subpage1=we_have_holes
"A flimsy, high-speed jetliner must decelerate sharply upon impacting a strong, massive fixed object like a skyscraper unless the jetliner acquires more energy from somewhere, yet video evidence shows no deceleration of aircraft, no loss of momentum as it penetrates the tower."
Request for Correction by NIST for Its Invalid WTC Jetliner Animations and Analyses; Morgan Reynolds; March 8, 2007
http://www.ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/Information_Quality/PROD01_002621

Morgan Reynolds thinks there was no plane debris at the WTC.

"There was no aircraft debris showering down below the impact zone. Videos of the "glide-ins" and still pictures below the gashes support this conclusion. Nor is jetliner debris visible in the two gashes themselves."
Request for Correction by NIST for Its Invalid WTC Jetliner Animations and Analyses
http://www.ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/Information_Quality/PROD01_002621

Not surprisingly, any efforts to show that aircraft debris was indeed found are deemed "fake." Hence, Reynolds can conclude that there is no evidence that real commercial jets ever hit the WTC towers.

Since Reynolds is not a scientist himself, he engaged an MIT student -- Rick Rajter -- to create his 'no-Big-Boeings' case for him. [ http://nomoregames.net/index.php?page=911&subpage1=deceleration_WTC2_myers ] But the seemingly complicated video and physics arguments Rajter attempted to make were (or had already been long ago) roundly refuted by others [ http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/salter/review.html, http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/reynolds/ ], and served mostly to take up the time of the scientific researchers of the community. The primary attack target of Reynolds' website is Dr. Steven Jones, with papers calling Jones "retarded" and other such names. Tellingly, rather than working with critics to reach a consensus, Reynolds has instead spent considerable effort to try to discredit those who refute his claims or kick him out of their groups.

Generally, Reynolds presents a series of reasonable points questioning the 9/11 attacks and speaks eloquently about the history of false flags, but toward the end of his PowerPoint presentations, or buried in the center of his essays, he tucks in his belief that 'Big Boeings' could not have hit the WTC Towers. In contrast to his tendency to bury this claim in presentations to audiences at 9/11 truth events, Reynolds took the opportunity of a FOX News appearance during the fifth anniversary of the attacks to state to millions of viewers that he did not believe that real commercial jets hit the WTC, imploring them to examine the impacts frame by frame for themselves (just as Shayler does with his hologram assertion).

This case is one of several examples of advocates of ridiculous claims being given front row seats in the mainstream media at key times to discredit the movement.

Relevant Papers

Interpreting the Boeing-767 Deceleration During Impact with the WTC Tower: Center of Mass Versus Tail-end Motion, and Instantaneous Versus Average Velocity; Gregory S. Jenkins, PhD; April 11, 2007; Journal of 9/11 Studies

Letter added to A Critical Review of WTC 'No Plane' Theories; Eric Salter; March 21, 2007; Journal of 9/11 Studies

A Critical Review of WTC 'No Plane' Theories; Eric Salter;
Journal of 9/11 Studies

DAVID SHAYLER

"The only explanation is that they were missiles surrounded by holograms made to look like planes"
"I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet but the credibility I add to the movement is enormous."
9/11 was an inside job says Shayler; by Paddy Shennan; January 22, 2007; Liverpool Echo
http://daveshayler.com/print/papers/220107LiverpoolEcho.html
"A recent article for the British magazine New Statesman profiled David Shayler and Annie Machon, former MI5 agents who went public with details of their service, who have since joined the growing '9/11 truth movement.' Much to Machon's chagrin, Shayler outed himself as a 'no-planer' who believes the airliners we saw strike the World Trade Center towers were actually cruise missiles disguised as planes using sophisticated hologram technology. 'The only explanation is that they were missiles surrounded by holograms made to look like planes... I know it sounds weird, but this is what I believe,' Shayler told journalist Brendan O'Neill."
The truth behind the conspiracy theories
http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/1006/1006debunking.html
"David Shayler, the former MI5 officer turned whistleblower, has joined the 9/11 deniers. 'We know for certain that the official story of 9/11 isn't true,' he tells the New Statesman. 'The twin towers did not collapse because of planes and fire. They were brought down in a controlled demolition. The Pentagon was most likely hit by an American missile, not an aeroplane.' Not that he thinks planes hit the towers. 'I believe no planes were involved in 9/11. The only explanation is that they were missiles surrounded by holograms made to look like planes.' Hard to believe, isn't it? Come to think of it, are we sure this isn't an MI5 agent posing as Shayler in an attempt to discredit him? Is there indeed such a person as Shayler, or was he -- as some now think -- invented by the CIA?"
Rebel MI5 agent says 9/11 planes were holograms; September 10, 2006; The Sunday Times
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2350584,00.html
"What I am still saying is go onto the internet and look at the footage . . . people have had a go at me saying there were no planes but there is little evidence to show that jets went into the buildings. I'm entitled to say they didn't and something else did . . . You can make some accurate calculations from Newton's laws of motion."
9/11 was an inside job says Shayler
http://daveshayler.com/print/papers/220107LiverpoolEcho.html

JUDY WOOD

judy wood

So much has already been written debunking the claims of Judy Wood that there is little more that can be added. Physicist Greg Jenkins, of dc911truth.org, did the 9/11 community a service when he videotaped a conversation he had with Judy Wood following a presentation she gave in Washington. Her apparent inability to understand basic concepts of physics which Jenkins attempted to discuss with her exposed the essential flawed basis for her claims, not just about energy weapons from space being involved in the WTC attacks, but even about her understanding of the events of 9/11 themselves.

Even Wood's early analysis of the Towers' destruction was inherently flawed, as promptly pointed out on discussion forums, and clearly refuted by Greg Jenkins in the Journal of 9/11 Studies:

"In an attempt to analyze the collapse times of the WTC towers (what she calls the "billiard ball" analysis), the conservation of momentum and energy are flagrantly violated. She assumes that with each collision, all momentum in the problem is obliterated. Her underlying assumptions are left unstated and the reader is left to ponder this egregious violation of physical law."

Later, Wood teamed up with Reynolds to attempt to criticize Dr. Steven Jones in papers. However, the overt inclusion of ad hominem attacks exposed the papers as primarily hit pieces rather than scientific papers.

Relevant Papers

INTERVIEW WITH DR. JUDY WOOD AND DR. GREG JENKINS; Analysis by Greg Jenkins and Arabesque; May 15, 2007; Journal of 9/11 Studies

A study of some issues raised in a paper by Wood & Reynolds; Dr. Frank Legge; January 11, 2007; Journal of 9/11 Studies

The Overwhelming Implausibility of Using Directed Energy Beams to Demolish the World Trade Center; Dr. Gregory S. Jenkins; Journal of 9/11 Studies

Was a "star-wars" beam weapon used at the WTC? Scientific Critique of Judy Wood's Paper "The Star Wars Beam Weapon"; James Gourley; January 9, 2007; Journal of 9/11 Studies

Why the damage to WTC Bldgs. 3 and 6 does not support the beam weapon hypothesis and some correspondence with Dr. James Fetzer about it; Tony Szamboti; Updated March 20, 2007; Journal of 9/11 Studies

Introduction to and Interview with Dr. Judy Wood conducted at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. regarding the use of Directed Energy Beams in the Demolition of the World Trade Center Towers; February 9, 2007
Greg Jenkins; Journal of 9/11 Studies

9/11 Family Members and Scholars: Request for Correction Submitted to NIST; Bob McIlvaine, Bill Doyle, Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan, Richard Gage, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice; Journal of 9/11 Studies

JAMES FETZER

"'I've put them in their place so many times,' [Fetzer] says of his critics. And as he sees it, his long-running battles over Wellstone and JFK have helped to prepare him for his role as spokesman for the truth movement. 'I know a whole lot about how these games are played,' he says. 'When I come into this 9/11 thing, see, I am not just a formidable foe on my own. I have this wealth of experience. The others don't know diddly shit about disinformation. But, man, I've lived through it.'"
Jim Fetzer: "I must say I think we're finding out Judy, what happened on 9/11. I'm just blown away by your work. This is the most fascinating development in the history of the study of 9/11 ... I'm going to make a wild guess Judy; I'm going to presume that these [directed energy] beams had to be located in Building 7?"

Judy Wood: "Nope. I don't think so."

Fetzer: "Planes?"

Judy Wood: "No ... I think it's very likely it's in orbit."

Fetzer: "Oh Really?? Oh ho ho ho ho! Oh Judy. Oh my oh my oh my oh my. This is huge ... this is huge Judy."
Non-Random Thoughts on RBN Live: Jim Fetzer interviews Judy Wood; November 11, 2006
http://truthaction.org/media/Judy_Wood_and_Jim_Fetzer_discuss_DEW.mp3

James Fetzer started off appearing to support the work of Dr. Steven Jones and offered to help form a scholars group with Jones and a handful of others. Fetzer ran the website for the group, but within months Fetzer's increasingly speculative, bizarre and one-sided posts began to earn criticism from other researchers. Jim Hoffman wrote a critique of Fetzer's research ( A Critical Review of: 'Thinking about "Conspiracy Theories": 9/11 and JFK' ) and an analysis of how the credibility of the original "9/11 Scholars group" was undermined by Fetzer's promotion of misleading claims on ScholarsFor911Truth.org and his public appearances as the group's spokesperson ( ScholarsFor911Truth.org: Muddling the Evidence ).

By the end of about one year, the situation had gotten so dire that some of the members, including Steven Jones, decided they could no longer allow Fetzer to control the website, and decided to take a vote on what to do, since Fetzer refused to remove the offending posts. Eventually, after several weeks involving hundreds of emails attempting to resolve the situation, a poll and subsequent vote was taken of the membership via email. All but ten of the more than two hundred members who participated in the vote voted to leave Fetzer's original group and form a new group. Thirty people, including the ten, voted to join both groups. ( For more information on the split, please see: Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice: FAQ )

That 2006 vote of the Scholars membership represents one of the only real-world measures of the actual support in the 9/11 community for James Fetzer. Another real-world measure might be the fact that James Fetzer has been banned from posting at 911blogger.com, a popular blog for 9/11 actions and information sharing.

But one would have no idea that Fetzer behaved in such ways from the large and detailed positive citation on PatriotsQuestion911.com. Why would the site feature a person who is so disruptive as to be banned from discussion with other activists, and to have threatened legal action against other activists in the 9/11 community?

Along with helping to force a split of the scholars group, on March 30th 2007, Fetzer wrote up a press release titled "Scholars file challenges to NIST reports on 9/11," and posted it to his website 911Scholars to announce the submission of a 'Request for Correction' to the National Institute for Standards in Technology (NIST) by Morgan Reynolds, Judy Wood and Ed Haas. Soon after this, an RFC by actual scientists was filed by Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice ( STJ911.org ) with the support of two 9/11 family members.

NIST staff members reading the submissions will probably assume that any subsequent filing is be packed with lunacy, after reading the one submitted by Wood, Reynolds and Haas. Hence, the well is poisoned. All later challenges, no matter how well-founded, will tend to be dismissed out of hand. This was made all the worse by Fetzer's claim that the filing was representative of a "Scholars" group.

And in August of 2007, about a month before the 6th anniversary, Fetzer organized a conference of nonsense advocates and has published a press release which shows that both he and Kevin Barrett now support the idea of TV fakery, or that the videos of the events on 9/11 should be considered to have been "faked." Naturally, no one addresses a fatal flaw with this theory -- that the videos and photographs of the public could not all have been manipulated, and so would not be corroborated by multiple news broadcasts, some of which are now available in full length on archive.org.

"'I used to think that the very idea of faking 'live' broadcasts was at least faintly absurd,' observed James Fetzer, the society's founder. 'But it turns out that there is a delay between an event's actual occurrence and the broadcasting of footage of that same event, which creates the opportunity for image manipulation.'"
. . .
"Kevin Barrett, the founder of MUJCA and a member of Scholars, reports he is troubled by these new studies. 'I guess I'll have to take this possibility more seriously now,' Barrett said. 'In the past, I have assumed video fakery was far-fetched and that anyone who endorsed it was probably a crackpot! Now I'm not so sure.'"
. . .
" . . . a group long convinced of video fakery, including Gerard Holmgren, Rosalee Grable, StillDiggin, Killtown, and others, who have been frustrated their arguments have not been taken seriously. 'For that reason, I'm including this subject [TV Fakery] in a conference on The Science and the Politics of 9/11: What's Controversial, What's Not . . '"
Mounting Evidence of 9/11 Video Fakery: New proof of media duplicity, Scholars claim; by James Fetzer; July 28, 2007
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_james_fe_070726_mounting_evidience_o.htm

Fetzer's Support for Morgan Reynolds

"'The second complaint, which has been filed by Morgan Reynolds, disputes NIST's explanations of the jetliner-shaped holes in the Twin Towers. . . . The complaint contends that real jetliners would have been dramatically slowed by the impact, which implies that the NIST report is not only factually wrong but also physically impossible in violating physical laws. Morgan poses a substantial number of anomalies that NIST will be hard pressed to explain,' Fetzer said."

Interestingly, before the scholars split, Fetzer claimed on his website that he did not agree with the idea that real planes didn't hit the WTC. Yet now, he sends this claim directly to NIST and suggests his support for it by his involvement in actively promoting the RFC to the public and to NIST.

Fetzer's Support for Judy Wood

"[The complaint] filed by Wood runs forty-three pages, including photographs and other supporting evidence. 'It is a powerful critique that demonstrates the government has completely and utterly failed to explain what happened to the World Trade Center on that tragic and fateful day,' ... Wood goes further and points out that the huge quantity of dust resulting from the visible process of steel disintegration, some of which was captured on film, combined with these other effects suggest the probable use of high-tech, directed energy weapons."
Scholars file challenges to 9/11 NIST reports

On Judy Wood, Fetzer says:

"'There are experts in many areas of science and of engineering studying 9/11,' he explained, 'but she has degrees that are centrally focused on critical areas in which competence is required to begin to understand what happened on 9/11. No one else in the 9/11 community comes close to her level of expertise.'"
Scholars file challenges to 9/11 NIST reports

Interestingly, only about 10 scholars polled out of over 200 appeared to agree with such positions.

But Reynolds and Wood are not the only people presenting bizarre and unfounded theories which Fetzer delivers to the public. Others he supports have made threatening attacks on other researchers and false defamatory statements about them, such as Rick Siegel. Fetzer is delivering these directly to the public via his website, his press releases, his appearances on his radio program, his conferences and any place else that will have him.

James Fetzer's website had about 800 other sites linking to it when the scholars group split. Now it has over 1000 linking to it. We can thank PatriotsQuestion911.com for some of that linkage, no doubt, by its continued positive presentation of the man whose efforts undermine the serious contributions of others, and make it easier for newcomers to see all 9/11 skeptics as nutcases.

Fetzer's Support for Rick Siegel

Also banned from most groups and blogs, Rick Siegel, like disruptors Nico Haupt and Eric Hufschmid, maintains what amounts to gossip column websites attacking other researchers. Recently, Siegel's website posted commentary attacking a victim of the 9/11 attacks and his wife with unfounded claims, and Siegel's site, 911researchers.com, was forced to move to a new host after complaints were filed with its original host. Soon afterwards, the New York Post got hold of this story and smeared all "conspiracy theorists" with Siegel's abusive attack on widow Ellen Mariani and her husband:

"The odd thing is that the loonies are picking on Ellen. She has been outspoken in insisting that the government knows more about the attacks than it is admitting. But a source familiar with the groups says they tend to target people who fall short of their extreme anti-Semitic, anti-everything views."

That Jim Fetzer thought highly of Siegel's gossip attack site is shown by the fact that he continued to post a prominent link to it on the front page of his scholars site for months following the split of the group. (the last archived version of the site -- May of 2007 -- shows that the link is still on the front page: http://67.15.255.19/~c911sch1/ .) Facts such as these suggest that not only is Fetzer primarily interested in advocating the most discrediting and baseless claims imaginable, but he also nurtures internal disruption by sending the public to a gossip and attack site as a 'top' link. Other evidence of his support for Rick Siegel's actions can be seen in an essay on the anniversary of the founding of the Scholars group in which he opines that Siegel should be on the board of directors.

"The board of directors, in my view, should include a wide range of perspectives about possible causes of destruction at the WTC, encompassing perspectives as diverse as those of David Ray Griffin, Morgan Reynolds, Rick Siegel, and Judy Wood."
SCHOLARS: ON ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY: Incorporating the Society as a Non-Profit Corporation; by James H. Fetzer; November 25, 2006
http://www.scholarsfor911truth.org/ScholarsAnniversary.html

The question, then, is why PatriotsQuestion911.com includes James Fetzer as though he is a notable and credible person, when in reality he has been banned from popular discussion arenas and has played an instrumental role in disrupting important groups both past and present, and in discrediting activists to large public audiences.

Fetzer's History of Disruption

Articles, letters, emails and other documents can be found all over the internet which outline a history of disruptive interactions between various individuals and activist groups with James Fetzer, particularly in the JFK arena. While we cannot know the full story behind most of the events which occurred, many descriptions are uncannily similiar to recent events in the 9/11 arena.

"[Fetzer] transferred to Columbia University for a year. Those were heady days on the Columbia campus. When the radical student group Students for a Democratic Society trashed a teacher placement office, Fetzer -- concerned that the campus disruptions might hamper his career -- aligned himself with an opposition group, Students for Columbia University. At one point, he says, he was involved in a melee in which he shouted down SDS leaders with a bullhorn. Only later did Fetzer come to suspect that some of his fellows with Students for Columbia University were probably agents provocateur -- and, by extension, that he had been made a government dupe."
...
"Sometimes, Thompson says, Fetzer would share theories that -- even in the world of assassination buffs -- seemed off the wall. "The first thing he sent me was a rather confusing claim that William Greer, the driver of the presidential limousine, could be seen in the Zapruder film turning around 180 degrees, holding up a chrome colored revolver, and shooting the president in the head," Thompson remembers. 'At that point, I knew I was dealing with someone with diminished experience in these matters.'"
...
"After one nasty dust-up with Thompson, Fetzer found himself denounced in a written statement by a group of prominent JFK researchers. They called Fetzer's attacks 'biased, prejudicial, counterproductive, and, finally, useless' and insisted that he apologize. The apology, says Thompson, never came."
...
"For his part, Fetzer says he still suspects that Thompson is 'working on the other side.' 'He's got a role to play, I'm telling you. He's got a role to play,' Fetzer whispers when Thompson's name comes up in conversation. 'If he's not an agent of disinformation, he's certainly acting as if he were.' It's too bad, he adds, because he once admired Six Seconds in Dallas. Heck, he once admired Thompson. You can still hear it in his voice. 'I thought it was a wonderful book,' Fetzer says. 'He was a philosopher. He was an instant hero, which is why it's so ironic that years and year later, he becomes my principal assailant.'"
...
"As with Thompson, the name-calling between Bieter and Fetzer was unbridled. . . . For Bieter, the dispute turned acutely personal after Fetzer posted about the circumstances surrounding Bieter's retirement from the law practice, hastened by allegations of malpractice and sexual harassment. (The sexual harassment charge was ultimately dropped.) . . . The acrimony ultimately wound up in the courts."

And from a letter posted to the internet by a Fetzer adversary, Josiah Thompson -

"So once again it is clear that Professor Fetzer has been wasting everyone's time, gabbling about nothing for four pages of an email. It's because I've finally decided not to waste any more time on the professor that this is my goodbye to him and all that. But I leave you folks (to return to doing some real research on cartridge cases) with a sense of optimism. I've met people over the last few months who are not only capable of handling the good professor. They are also capable of doing real research and, unlike the professor, are actually doing it. Most of them are listed on the professor's web page as 'agents of disinformation'."

Given such levels of ongoing disruption in multiple groups attempting to investigate cover-ups, over spans of years, why is James Fetzer being presented to the public for unwitting readers to believe his work is credible, beneficial or helpful? Rather than linking to our strongest researchers, he is linking to people so disruptive that The New York Post has to write a story on it. Rather than being able to work with groups of serious researchers, he is propping up those who are presenting nonsense and who cannot defend their work scientifically.

Inherent Contradictions

PatriotsQuestion911.com's inclusion of uncritical biographies of overt promoters of false and misleading claims as 9/11 truth is at odds with the goal of lending credibility to challenges to the official story. That goal is explicitly stated on the site's main page:

"I strongly desire to increase this collection of statements by responsible individuals who question the official account of 9/11."
PatriotsQuestion911.com: A PERSONAL NOTE ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

Yet as this essay has shown, at least four of the individuals included on the site are actually reckless -- not responsible in the least -- attacking other researchers and disseminating misinformation as though it is accepted, when in reality it is widely rejected.

PatriotsQuestion911.org states:

"I don't claim to know what really happened on 9/11. I cannot examine the facts of the matter first hand. And I don't have the experience to know what's possible and what is unlikely regarding terrorist activities or military operations. For that analysis, I need to rely on experts."

Experts who believe that holograms were used to fake plane crashes on 9/11?

PatriotsQuestion911.org further states:

"My objective, at this point, is to have our government launch a new, extremely thorough, independent, and totally impartial re-examination of the terrible acts of 9/11 and the events leading up to them."

Many if not all researchers and activists want a new investigation, but the mixing of credible critics of the official story with advocates of holograms, space weapons, nukes and other nonsense claims is never going to get us a new investigation, and will more likely produce the opposite outcome. To call for a new investigation while spreading nonsense claims to the public -- despite repeated requests for their removal -- suggests that one actually prefers an investigation regardless of the veracity of the claims -- a torches-at-the-gates mentality in which the truth of the accusations is sidelined and forgotten.

Last but not least, the choice of links highlighted by PatriotsQuestion911.com similarly suggests that truth -- as can be demonstrated by the scientific method and through careful, deliberate scholarly research by some of the credible individuals included in the site -- is not highly valued.

Interestingly, the list of recommended sites and videos under the "9/11 Truth" columns falls almost entirely into two categories: those which actively promote hoaxes, and those which avoid the subject of disinformation. It would be hard to find any films more widely regarded in the 9/11 community as hoax films than 9/11 Eyewitness, which suggests that helicopters and nuclear weapons were involved in the Twin Towers' destruction, and 9/11 Ripple Effect, which continues to promote the pod claim several years after it was laid to rest.

Conclusion

PatriotsQuestion911.com is not unique in its mixing of nonsense-advocates with real researchers, but due to this site's high visibility the need to address this issue is all the more important. Efforts to get these small needed changes -- for the sake of the basic credibility of the entire 9/11 community -- have been fruitless. Hence, in order to keep the public aware of the basic role of the insertions of nonsense into our work which sites like PatriotsQuestion911.com are ignoring, this essay was created.

As we enter the 6th Anniversary of the attacks, the nonsense advocates are meeting for their own conference about TV fakery, nukes, UFOs, and space weapons, meaning that essays such as this are unfortunately increasingly necessary to provide a basic resource for journalists, researchers, and average readers who are questioning the 9/11 attacks, but are coming upon ideas so absurd, so often, that it might seem like most of the entire 9/11 community is simply nuts. But if one looks closely one finds that, in general, these people also appear to have held reasonable jobs and have even won grants for tens of thousands of dollars from the government.

This basic contradiction which we see again and again -- nonsense combined with expert credentials or high competency -- is a red flag in which only two possible rationales reasonably exist: either the person has begun a tragic course of Alzheimer's (or some other organic disorder of the brain) which has apparently not yet been diagnosed nor affected any of their other abilities to function independently, or they are intentionally protecting the official story by attempting to discredit by association those who are questioning it. There are other possibilities - i.e., ego, spite, ideology etc. -- but most of those necessitate such a level of reckless disregard for the truth that they amount to an intentional effort to discredit, nothing more.

Some will argue that efforts such as this essay are only negative, a waste of time, and risk getting us too involved in debunking and divisiveness rather than the positive work we should be doing. Indeed, the individuals described in this essay would likely feel the same -- "Shut up about the disinformation already, and let's all get along!" This is the basis for Big Tent, an organizing strategy which tends to welcome all ideas, no matter what their content, for purposes of "unity."

The truth is, each of us has our own path, interests, fascinations, and abilities, and we can each contribute our best work by following what we feel most strongly about. Sometimes writing about mis- and disinformation is a cathartic exercise which can allow researchers to move forward knowing they have done as much as they can do to expose the charades. I recall discussing disinformation briefly on stage at a 9/11 event while waiting for the main speaker to arrive. Audience members were confused about some of the information they'd recently learned that made no sense to them and someone brought up a question. When I explained a little about mis- and disinformation, the history of it, the examples we know of, the likely possibility that this may be at the root of the topic they were confused about, there was a palpable relief in the room as an audible sigh went across the audience. It surprised me: people understood immediately and in a gut way. A knowing look came over their faces as if to say, "Ah, of course . . . now I get it." After such situations are resolved, I've noticed, events move forward positively. I've witnessed such relief in a number of audiences when false claims have been brought up -- "But I think nukes were what really caused those clouds at Ground Zero!" -- and quickly decapitated by individuals like Dr. Steven Jones, Jim Hoffman and architect Richard Gage.

We are engaged in a two-front information war. Pretending that we are not won't make one side go away. There are more than enough of us for all the different types of efforts -- outreach, organizing, group building, physical evidence research, petitions, lawsuits, FOIAs, and refuting false claims -- to move forward in unison.

The good news is that more and more people are seeing the nonsense and are rejecting it openly in their posts to forums, in their own essays, on blogs, and in films. Creating a firewall between the genuine research and the nonsense will take more than ignoring nonsense, it will take uniting against it. That takes courage, as anyone knows who has attempted to expose mis- and dis-information and has been met with vitriolic public attacks and threats.

I would like to take a moment to mention and thank some researchers and activists who have made careful, unique and meaningful contributions to the effort to expose the role of mis- and disinformation in the 9/11 community:

The more that the 9/11 community comes together in agreement that the case against the official story must have a strong basis in the scientific method, reason, critique and respectful communications, the more the case will develop and grow.

Summary

  • Ignoring the bad (holograms) while accepting the good (network of high-profile connections) is a form of denial that enables extraordinary and unsubstantiated claims to grow, not go away.
  • The ideas advocated by these researchers have been repeatedly debunked by numerous scientists and professionals within the 9/11 community who have closely examined the evidence. These are not complicated issues requiring a great deal of debate. They are bizarre, unsubstantiated claims rejected by the vast majority of those who look into them.
  • Those advocating the claims are in high-profile public leadership positions, yet they present claims which clearly do not represent the 9/11 community they appear to. These ongoing presentations of nonsense constitute recklessness by these supposed leaders and their rejections of the scientific method -- qualities which should never be supported by groups seeking fair and honest public investigations of tragic historic events.
  • Hence, the below four members listed on PatriotsQuestion911.com should be removed from the site:

    • MORGAN REYNOLDS
      "no Big Boeings crashed" into the WTC towers
      http://nomoregames.net/index.php?page=911&subpage1=exploding_the_airliner_crash_myth
      http://www.ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/Information_Quality/PROD01_002621
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reQZT9Hzvt8
      http://patriotsquestion911.com/#Reynolds
    • DAVID SHAYLER
      "missiles surrounded by holograms" destroyed the WTC towers
      http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/1006/1006debunking.htm
      http://daveshayler.com/print/papers/220107LiverpoolEcho.html
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2350584,00.html
      http://patriotsquestion911.com/#Shayler
    • JUDY WOOD
      "Star Wars Beam Weapon" destroyed the WTC (her own words)
      http://janedoe0911.tripod.com/StarWarsBeam1.html
      http://ocio.os.doc.gov/Sitemap/ssLINK/PROD01_002899
      http://patriotsquestion911.com/professors.html#Wood
    • JAMES FETZER
      claims that the above people are the "scholars" of 9/11 to over 900 websites via links, ongoing promotional press releases, appearances on major media programs reaching millions, etc.
      http://twilightpines.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=67
      http://www.citypages.com/databank/27/1334/article14475.asp
      http://patriotsquestion911.com/professors.html#Fetzer
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