The Joy of Conspiracy Denial


By Carol Cleveland


Recently I read another stinging rebuke of the 9-11 conspiracy theorists for their frightful mishandling of evidence, their will to believe only what gives them psychological comfort, and their general state of delusion. It was not the first I had read, nor will it be the last. The writer held unwaveringly to the party line: all those who seek to discredit the official, announced version of the events of 9-11 are “conspiracy theorists”- and should not be listened to. That this position constitutes an attempt at prior censorship does not seem to bother the deniers, nor the fact that the central tenets of conspiracy denial are an ad hominem attack. We are told that conspiracy theorists are crazy, or at least cowardly clingers to delusions that they find comforting.

It occurred to me that I haven’t seen anyone examine the mental comforts of conspiracy denial, using the handy tools of amateur psychology. It’s my guess that there’s considerable comfort to be had, especially for men, from an acceptance of the official explanation for 9-11. This is not to say that many women aren’t happy with the Arab hijacker theory, but for men, the provision of a clear enemy to fight is always especially gratifying.

To accept the official announcements of the story of 9-11 is instantly satisfying in several ways. Commercial airliners, hijacked by suicide terrorists, flew into buildings at the behest of a really smart master-terrorist named Osama Bin Laden. This is an immediately credible scenario””many of us had heard the name Bin Laden, and “knew” he was a terrorist who lived on the other side of the world. Indeed, the WTC had been attacked once before. And terrorism itself certainly exists–both sides of the 9-11 controversy can agree on that. So, to accept the official announcements that followed the attacks enabled you quickly to locate all the blame for the attacks in a tiny evil army of foreigners, all out of immediate reach, but accessible to the U.S. Army, you bet. The hijackers themselves were all dead, and their leader was extremely hard to find, but American forces could find and punish them. No need, really, to conduct any investigations or solve any mysteries–an evil super-hero with a small army of mentally enslaved unfortunates was able to penetrate the defenses of the finest air force in the world to murder 3000 Americans. A fluke, but in life and in sports, stuff like that happens.

The fact that this reads like a comic book plot doesn’t seem to be a source of embarrassment for the anti-truther movement. In fact, an evil mastermind who, through mindless suicidal drones, wreaks havoc on good and decent people is the major plot driver of The Lord of the Rings, and many other fantasy and science fiction epics. Mythically speaking, it’s golden.

And under the broad strokes of the main story, there’s also a layer of historically accurate information that supports the main plot line. Joe and Jane Six-Pack would accept the unadorned story eagerly, but there’s something to satisfy the more thoughtful as well. The back story is that American foreign policy for the last 30 years could easily result in some very unhappy Arabs. CIA meddling in the politics of Iran and Iraq, and above all, our support for Israel, have been highly unpopular on the Arab street. Well-read people could find the anti-American sentiments of the terrorists quite credible, if regrettable.

So the psychological comforts of the official story are several and real: you get a clearly defined enemy, a simple solution to a complex foreign policy problem, you get to feel morally superior to your enemy because you’re more civilized and don’t kill civilians, and finally, if you know something of the history of American policy in the Near East, you get to feel superior to those who don’t.
It’s entirely understandable that any American should believe the official 9-11 story. And, of course, to consider seriously for an instant that there could be something seriously wrong with that story, to imagine that as possible, really does change everything, just like 9-11 itself. If there’s a chance that Americans colluded in those horrors, then the entire mental structure of our sanity, which we’ve lived in all our lives, has a serious crack, a San Andreas Fault, right down the middle. If we think it possible that “We have met the enemy, and he is us,” then everything previously unthinkable is thinkable.

In fairness to their enemies among the truthers, the conspiracy deniers should admit that there is much psychological comfort in their own position, and that conspiracy theorists do not have a monopoly on convenient but deluded assumptions. 9-11 is, after all, a heap of facts, and it is open to human inquiry. Whether the heap was created by our enemies’ hatred or something worse has yet to be decided.



This entry was posted in 9/11, conditioning, Conspiracy, culture, Empire, False Flag, Geopolitics, History, propaganda, Psy-ops, Psychology, Social Control, society, State Crime, war, war on terror and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Joy of Conspiracy Denial

  1. Heather Awen says:

    This was really great because the first sentence I thought was actually about people who believe the official 911 story ! It was really great to see someone figure out why people so easily will believe what really is a comic book scenario ! That was really fun .

    I think the reason I don’t really put a lot of thought into 911 is because I don’t really think anyone would care enough to do anything if evidence came out saying the United States did it . I feel like enough time has passed , Americans have really short attention spans , and there is so much cynicism about the government anyway , plus nothing really seems to make Americans actually change anything . I was just talking to my mother about why I don’t spend a lot of time with conspiracy theories, probably because I’m living in one , because I really don’t believe that people care about the truth . They’ve been given the truth about so many horrible things end it really doesn’t matter to anyone . It’s surprising , I’m not sure what the explanation is , but since people really appear to have incredibly low standards for what they expect from the government , it’s like nothing phases anyone that much . Otherwise I think I’d be a lot more into it . Because there’s obviously so many things wrong with the entire story and really a large percentage of the population doesn’t believe the official story , it’s actually interesting and how many very diverse political groups agree on the fact that the official story is a complete lie , it’s actually something that unites a lot of people who you would never think would agree about anything .

    But it feels like it’s just used as another reason to be cynical and apathetic as opposed to causing change. I am friends with a couple of people who are really into 9/11 and I asked them what they hope will happen and they say once it’s exposed people won’t believe the American lie, but I feel like ever since Watergate believing in the American lie went away . Nothing shocks us anymore . I was so certain that Oliver North and the Iran-Contra stuff was going to cause revolution and nothing happened at all.

    So while I’m interested in it, I can’t really justify spending a lot of time on it because I don’t think the truth will change things . That’s really a sad commentary on everything . I don’t know if people just feel totally powerless or what . But every day we are bombarded with news about scandal after scandal and it just seems to’s made people expect it .

    But I like the idea of exploring the psychology behind all of this , that’s actually a fresh angle end it’s really important to understand the psychology of why people respond the way they do to things if you’re trying to be effective . Like when the news came out in the 1980s that the US government had been testing different chemical warfare things in the New York City subway system in the 1950s , which had been considered a conspiracy theory until the information was cleared , no one cared . Everyone was just like figures, sounds right . So when you can see it’s conspiracy theories suddenly become facts and no one really is even outraged it’s released a strange thing.

    So studying the psychology of it is pretty cool because I would be a lot more interested in having the truth about these things revealed if I thought it would do anything good . But I think we live in an age where everyone has a low opinion of government so it just confirms what they already think and it never seems to make a difference . I normally would not have read another article about 9/11 , but this one really goes for the deeper question about why people believe what they believe . Which goes to my question about why aren’t people outraged when they find out what they believe is wrong and they’ve been lied to by the government ? I think a lot of the time people underestimate how dystopian in general the public is . It’s not like the 1980s where everyone firmly believed USA number one . I live in a very redneck area end there’s no faith in any politician . In fact it seems like the liberals are the only ones to think politics even matter , everyone else is giving up .

    The psychology behind it , it’s pretty easy to sum up, Russell Brand did it for everybody who couldn’t figure out why people don’t vote. It’s not like there’s any big secret that no one feels like the government is doing anything right anywhere . So then my question is psychologically what has to happen to get people to stop accepting this as okay . What level of atrocity has to happen before people stop using scandals to just support their apathy and distain?

    I actually do vote although living in Vermont it’s not that necessary probably because out of the two parties you pretty much know things will be Democrat , and it’s because I’m not realistic anarchist . There’s only one issue that makes me vote and that’s abortion . Having an abortion was the smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life . I’ve noticed that male anarchists never think about this. I only vote to keep abortion legal . If anarchists are going to tell me not to vote , they better be trained and have the equipment for doing safe abortions . And the herbal ones are very dangerous and often require going to get an abortion at a clinic because only worked half way or the person is hemorrhaging . There was a midwife in the 1980s I was friends with who was also a dominatrix that bought all of the equipment for performing abortions and was trained because there was real risk of it being illegal , in fact the largest protest I’ve ever been to was about that in Washington DC when I was 13 , so seeing someone do that to prepare for abortion being illegal had a really big impact on me . So I would question every mail anarchist out there , if you knock someone up and she has to go through the dangerous process of pregnancy and giving birth which could kill her , and you know all overpopulation is a big problem and that neither of you want to be parents , what will you do when abortions illegal? Take out a coathanger?

    That was off-topic LOL . But it links into the whole general apathy about voting and having no faith in the government . I’ve had so many guy anarchists self righteously lecture or even yell at me for voting thinking that I’m stupid enough to think there’s really a difference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi and when they finally shut up , I ask them are you prepared to perform an abortion? , this is part of the sexism so rampant in any radical community . Honestly sexism is the one thing that male anarchists will not address . It is the one privilege they never talk about and I believe it’s because secretly they love it. It’s really weird how many guy anarchist have lectured me on what kind of sex life I should have if I’m a feminist . Their answer always is that the feminist sex life would mean that for some reason I would have sex with them . The only time I’ve ever experienced domestic violence was a boyfriend drunk throwing me against the wall screaming that I was not feminist enough . I cannot believe how entitled anarchist men are when it comes to getting laid. It’s like all their politics completely disappear when they want to get laid .

    It’s why I never go out with any because I’d rather have the guy be more upfront and honest . However I will say that Deepgreen resistance has done far more than any other group I’ve ever known of about making sexism the man’s problem to figure out . I’ve talked to women in DGR who have told me it’s nowhere near perfect but it’s really the only community where the men are awkwardly trying . That sounds pretty awesome . Because of these white guys will go on and on about supporting African-American men while they don’t even recognize how terribly they treat the women in their own lives . DGR I didn’t join because I have transgendered friends and I think there version of feminism is one of an industrialized nation that is very limited end was written at a time when people didn’t even know much about their even being transgendered people so it’s irrelevant to today . Also most of the things they advocate will harm my population the worst, the chronically ill and disabled , and I don’t really think able-bodied people should get to make the choice about who lives and dies . It’s too much like Hitler and how the first group he killed off were the disabled .

    This is funny, I’m starting to realize why a guy recently told me I was too intelligent to have a boyfriend . He was an anarchist to LOL . And he tried all that bullshit on me to manipulate me into sex . Jim squatter the big California anarchist tried all that stuff on me when I was 13 end I totally called him out and then he wanted me to teach him to stop seeing women as sex objects , as if that’s my job. I did tell him that a good way to start would be stop looking at my tits.

    That is one thing I haven’t seen very much about on this blog , the sexism in anarchism . I have friends to write about anti-sematic stuff in the liberal end radical communities . But I bet if someone wrote about the sexism , no man would read it because it would be considered a woman’s issue . Even though white men are totally supportive of any African-American male issue in the anarchist community . If you ever find any people writing about how the one thing no one is challenging at all in this looking at the problems of the world and forming a new one is sexism or even better yet if you find anything about groups figuring out how to deal with the sexism in their community , that would be really rad to read . I feel like I’m asking for a request from a DJ .

  2. greg maybury says:

    G’day Carol, Excellent piece on the subject of conspiracy, one close to my heart, although not necessarily for all the usual reasons. The following will give you some idea of my own take on it all, for what it is worth.

    Once Upon a Paranoid Time (In America) Parts 1-3


    Greg Maybury
    Editor / Publisher

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