Welcome to the first of what will hopefully become a regular series, where each Monday I, or Heidi Svenson, will give readers a round up of issues surrounding 9/11 and 7/7 conspiracy theories, plus of course any related issues that tickle the fancy of those of us running this blog.
Charlie Veitch (Again)
On 26 May, the Daily Telegraph's cultural magazine, Seven, had a two page feature on Charlie Veitch, a former pin-up of the 9/11 truth movement, who changed his mind about 'truth' theories and very publicly rejected them. Given the rather silly title 'The Conspiracy Against Charlie Veitch' the article sketches a man in a state of flux, although someone who clearly regrets the time he lost to the truth movement. Some other issues emerge - the movement's anti-Semitism, the nastiness and personal attacks towards Veitch when he 'came out' and finally Veitch's own honesty. When asked if there were psychological explanation for conspiracy theorists, Veitch puts forward the novel idea that they have an obsession with victimhood - a hatred of high achievers. This (interesting) suggestion is not one that is developed in any detail, although the interview ends starkly. When asked why such theories appealed to him, Veitch replies - 'ego'.
If you want to read a more detailed breakdown of the politics, and experiences of two former 9/11 truthers from Lancashire, I recommend the interview with Louise Evans and Mick Meaney in issue 9 of Notes From the Borderland. Some of their experiences are similar to that of Veitch, others very different.
The New Age Dissected
Although it is not without its flaws, each month Fortean Times always has something that interests. Earlier this year it published a special issue, number 300, with the front cover Apocalypse Not, following the various predictions that the world would end on 21 December 2012. The best of the article therein is Peter Brookesmith's 'Don't Get Fooled Again' which takes a hefty sword to the new age movement, who by any definition were central to all the Mayan guff.
One thing Brookesmith does very well is devise a typology of the New age milieu. Consider these quotes:
"..the New Age embraces a pick'n'mix 'spirituality' looted from various religious traditions, the more obscure ethnically and the more readily romanticised the better".
"They also tend loudly to champion environmentalism, organic food, alternative medicine, 'lost ancient wisdom', a vague pacifism and take seriously a profusion of pseudoscientific fields"
"It is however, against almost everything that constiututes and underpins contemporary life in the post-Renaissance West"
and perhaps best of all "Far from being liberating, the outlook begets a deadly, humourless conformity of its own, one that's inevitably steeped in disapproval. It is a kind of New Puritanism" .
Go go to your local New Age shop, spend thirty minutes there, and you will see just how accurate Brookesmith is.
The First Woolwich Truth Tweet?
The ideals of the 9/11 and 7/7 truth movements are now so widely dispersed, that as new terrorist attacks occur, they can be readily fitted into existing frameworks. There will be more to say on the responses to the Woolwich attack in due course, but I was taken by this great example of a Londoner hedging his bets:
#IAmAMuslim and I don't condone the woolwich attacks...— wahid (@WahidAtTalib) May 22, 2013
Tbh I think its a set up. But still don't condone the attack #previoustweet— wahid (@WahidAtTalib) May 22, 2013