Welcome to our irregular Monday morning summary of recent events in the world of 'truth' movement activists, activism and anything else which tickles our fancy.
Firstly we must start with congratulations. Annie Machon, the former Secretary of the UK and Ireland 9/11 Truth Campaign, continued her rehabilitation from truth activism by speaking at a debate at the London School of Economics on 5 February. Amusingly entitled ‘What Have You Got To Hide’ the former MI5 officer debated Hazel Blears MP, the former head of GCHQ Sir David Omand and Matthew Ryder QC. By our simple maths, that was two people on the side of the intelligence services, one MP and one legal eagle. Who spoke up for the individual and who spoke, if such a thing is possible, for the masses?
Catching up with Robin Ramsay’s articles in Fortean Times over the past few months, 9/11 Cultwatch is reminded of the consideration given by academia to conspiracy theory. Ramsay sticks it to two academic adventures into this world – the 1998 Conspiracy Culture Conference at the University of Winchester, and the recent formation of the Conspiracy and Democracy Project at the University of Cambridge. Ramsay is dismissive of these projects, writing in his January column:
“But the conspiracy theories and democracy project precludes even considering that maybe some of the theories are true. Heaven forfend, that might even lead us into the growth of a national security state”.
The weakness of this analysis is that there are all manner of writers, researchers and critics of the national security state – Ramsay, at his best, has served as an important one himself. Glenn Greenwald, no matter his many faults, has articulated a whole series of concerns based on the whistle blowing of Edward Snowden. In part, the reason the likes of Sir David Omand are now to be found on stage at the LSE and appearing on television is to attempt to limit the damage that exposure of the national security state has caused the powers that be?
But that is only one part of the story. We surely need some form of approach towards the Alex Jones or David Icke material which clogs up the Internet? When we have a situation where no Muslim majority nation has over 30% of respondents who believe Al Qaeda carried out 9/11, we have a reality where conspiracy theory makes substantive analysis of terrorism, Al Qaeda and the war on terror, in those countries, impossible. In the long term, that is arguably as unhealthy as allowing a ‘national security state’ untrammelled power?
If academics can take the categorisation and analysis of such phenomenon forward – all well and good. If they don’t ………….someone else surely needs to?