How 9/11 Gave Rise to a New Generation of Denialists

The horrible events of 9/11 2001 were unique in many ways. In the past, hijacking had most often been a method of trying to acquire political concessions or for monetary extorting, but rarely before had planes been hijacked to be used as weapons in themselves. Despite the incident at Pearl Harbor, the 1993 attack on WTC and the Oklahoma City bombing, the United States had been relatively spared from international terrorism up until then. The attacks against WTC and the Pentagon also lead to never-before-seen security measures on airports, consuming vast sums of money and changing the very core of air travel. It lead to increases in military spending and wars overseas, the Patriot Act and many other major changes on the regional and global scene.

However, there were other consequences of the events that day, namely the rise of a new generation of young and tech-savvy conspiracy theorists and denialists with the world wide web at their fingertips. Typing “9/11” and “inside job” into the search engine Google returns over 7 million hits, although not all of them take the conspiracy perspective. Compare this with just around 55000 for “HIV does not cause AIDS” keeping in mind that HIV/AIDS denialists have been around since the early 80s.

Perhaps there were many factors contributing to this the popularity of 9/11 conspiracy theories. The problematic foreign policies of the United States. The feeling of being empowered and looking up stuff for themselves online. Seeing patterns and intentions where none exist. The general environment of anti-authoritarianism and dislike for politicians. The feeling of a strong and upward-spiraling community, mutually reinforcing the belief system with websites, blogs, blog comments, YouTube videos etc. It also fitted snugly into other conspiracy theories that existed at the time, and still exist, such as the New World Order.

What do you think?

Emil Karlsson

Debunker of pseudoscience.

10 thoughts on “How 9/11 Gave Rise to a New Generation of Denialists

  • January 29, 2012 at 18:13
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    I was not a believer in a 911 conspiracy; in fact, the idea seemed ludicrous. That was before I actually examined any of the evidence. After having done that, I think you have to be a complete fool to believe the government story. There’s no “proof” needed, IMO, just a rational and observant viewpoint when examining the facts. Compare the theories (that’s all we have, since there was no investigation) side by side.

  • January 29, 2012 at 18:49
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    Thank you for your comment.

    First of all, the mainstream account of the events is not “the governments story”. It was put together by thousands of scientists, engineers and journalists with the use of physical evidence, video footage, eyewitness testimony etc. Second, you are abusing the term “theory”. In every day usage, it means something you made up and have no evidence for. In science, however, it means a well-supported explanation that includes facts, laws, inferences and tested hypotheses. So you cannot compare scientific theories with conspiracy theories. They are not on level playing fields. Thirdly, there were scientific investigation carried out by NIST, FBI and the 9/11 Commission. Fourth, the fact that you claim that no evidence is needed for determining the issue means that you are basing your position on evidence-free ideology.

    Let’s keep this discussion productive: If you believe that 9/11 was an “inside job”, please put forward the best single piece of evidence you have for your conclusion. If I can disprove your argument, you must accept that your position that 9/11 was an inside job is false. If you agree to these terms, I will discuss 9/11 with you. Do you? If you do not, there is no point for you to post additional comments on this entry.

  • August 3, 2012 at 01:07
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    First of all, the “conspiracy theory” was put together by thousands of scientists, engineers and journalists with the use of physical evidence, video footage, eyewitness testimony etc. Look at the evidence instead of just slapping a “conspiracy” label on it. You are not debunking anything here.
    Why should there be only one single piece of evidence. There are several websites wich looks into this case. There are firemens for truth, pilots for truth, architects and engineers for truth and so on. Don’t play ignorant. Read that first.

    • August 3, 2012 at 01:20
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      I asked for the strongest piece of evidence as a time-saver. If I can refute that, then it automatically refutes all weaker evidence.

      Furthermore, the AE911Truth protest lists is no different from the intelligent design creationist lists of scientists that reject evolution. The latter is flawed and so to must the former be.

      If you believe that 9/11 was an inside job, please present the strongest piece of evidence you know of. If I can refute it, you must accept that your position is wrong.

  • August 4, 2012 at 01:28
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    Hello!
    You want to save time on such an important issue? That doesn’t seem responsible. Many things happened around that date. Why bring up protest lists? Look at the evidence. You still seem to conflate those who are skeptic about the official 9/11 story with people that deny other things by using the “conspiracy theory” label.

    I represent no one but my self. If you post something you think refutes an argument from some random person who might also be, for example, a denier of evolution (I’m not), you still have to deal with the whole bulk of evidence regarding 9/11.

    I question the official story, since it defies physics. That’s one of the better arguments. In order to debate whether “9/11 was an inside job”, that is what has to be examined first.

    • August 4, 2012 at 12:01
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      No, I want to save time debating 9/11 denialists. I did not say I wanted to save time regarding the science behind 9/11 itself. That has been given more than enough time by serious scientists, journalists and engineers.

      There is no conflation being made as denialism is entrenched among those who reject the mainstream scientific account of 9/11.

      Furthermore, you yourself apply one of these tactics. You marginalize your opposition by referring to the mainstream account as “official”. This is of course wrong, since it is not just something a small minority in the government made up, but a scientific mainstream account made by thousands of scientists, engineers and journalists.

      Your statement that “9/11 defies physics” is of course not an argument. It has no premises, evidence or conclusions. It is just an assertion.

      You will have to do better than that.

  • May 31, 2013 at 08:06
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    Try WTC 7’s free fall
    But be very careful, once you go down this rabbit hole their is no coming home for apple pie
    I suggest you take the blue pill

    • August 26, 2013 at 07:30
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      Try this rabbit hole: It wasn’t a freefall for one, and -to humor you for a second- even controlled demolitions of buildings don’t produce a collapse at freefall speed. it was a collapse due to weakening of the structural steel by several hours of uncontrolled fire ripping through the building.

    • August 26, 2013 at 12:14
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      Don’t forget the damage caused by the collapse of the twin towers.

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