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Old 09-01-2009, 02:41 AM   #1
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Default Confessions of a former 9/11 Truther

It is always heartwarming to hear stories of people who woke up from their delusion that 9/11 was an "inside job."

In another forum that I drop in on every now and then, a former 9/11 "truther" posted this particularly articulate and interesting view into the mindset of some of the people we encounter here at LL.

What I find interesting is that he illustrates that the fact-for-fact debates were non persuasive. What changed his mind was the illustration of logical fallacies. Once one understands formal logic structure, real and fallacious arguments become clear.

I have made minor edits for brevity. The link is here and text below.

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=152561


Quote:
Hello everyone!

I would like to introduce myself to the forum. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I used to be a 'truther'. I was never really 'active' on the streets, carrying around a cheaply produced "9/11 was an Inside Job" banner, but I was obsessed with 'researching' the truth of that day. It affected me deeply and I took it out on my family and friends, nearly alienating me from society because of my views. Thing is, society wasn't alienating me, I was alienating THEM because I couldn't handle their 'brainwashed' attitudes for too long. Family dinners were plagued with cynicism's towards the world and how there's evil cabals afoot, controlling us and lying to us with military precision. But hey, we all know what 'Truthers' believe, so I wont go at length about what I was wrong about.

What I think would be more interesting and potentially valuable is to explain what changed my mind about EVERYTHING, especially since it's still fresh in my mind and will have a low degree of time-distortion as this happened only 3 weeks ago. My plan now is to look into debunking theories until Sept 11, 2009, and then lay the entire concept to rest (I'm a sap like that, lol).

......... So when I started tuning into shock-jocks like Alex Jones and subjecting my brain to catchy 9/11 vids like Loose Change, I was horrified by the implications. It took me sometime to convince myself that the US Gov was actually in on it, but as time went on and as the media gave "guilty" looks whenever asked about 9/11, I grew more and more convinced there was a cover-up at every level. I became obsessed with finding more and more information about the truth. Alex Jones became a hero to me for standing up the powers at be an asking "real questions".

What I failed to notice is that he never provided "real answers". I never noticed he just wants to sell his T-Shirts and Dvds (or, in the case of recent "money bombs", NOTHING). I never noticed that I was in a cult, and Jones was my messiah. *hangs head in shame*

My mother worked especially hard to debunk me in several email exchanges. I would typically reply with youtube links or regurgitate the talking points of the Truth movement, assuming she's never heard them before. I feel I was being unjustly bias to her, as she is also a devout Christian and I figured she was just being a "Bush loyalist" with her rebuttals. I failed to see the ad hominem in rejecting her advice, and I feel full of regret for this.

She wasn't the only one, many have challenged my points but that just angered me and inspired me to find MORE evidence to justify my case. I became a "True Believer" through and through. I would reject girls because of their political stace, and nearly lost my current girlfriend over arguments about this. The interesting thing about that, though, is we never fought directly about 9/11, we would talk more about vaccines/swine flu, autism, aspartame, etc. She, being a Dietitian, was the FIRST person I've ever met that would actually take the "Pro" side of the Aspartame debate. It shocked me that she actually had evidence and good arguments to support her claims. I thought it was pretty much settled that Aspartame was the biggest scam in history, but she tirelessly chipped away at my wall of pride and conviction and brought me to a "Maybe her sources are better than mine..." point. Gee, really? Maybe peer-reviewed scientific journals are more reliable than chain-letters and fear mongering from hypocritical Disc Jockeys? Go figure, eh? I bring this up because I truly believe that "911 was an Inside Job" is a gateway drug that leads to all sorts of other nonsense. If you really believe that your government will gleefully kill you for political advantage, then of COURSE you would also believe that they are secretly approving poisons to keep us weak and complacent.

A few months later I bump into an old friend from College. .... He asked me if I was being satirical with all the random "Swine Flu is a SCAM" and "9/11 is a LIE" posts on my facebook profile, and I just bombarded him with what I thought was the best-evidence-ever. He laughed and proceeded to EASILY highlight the fallacy each one of my arguments had. Arguing from Final Consequences, Argument from Ignorance, Ad Homenim, Anecdotal evidence, etc. No one EVER did that to me. It shocked me, because I couldn't deny that he was right. For example, CT's like to say Qui Bono (who benefits)? Which is a TERRIBLE argument, as it doesn't matter if Bush benefited off the 9/11 tragedy, because he would have benefited the same whether Bin Ladin did it, or Bush did it himself. I had no retort. I just changed the subject to swine flu, as a last ditch effort to knock him down and hopefully run away with my ego intact. Alas, he ripped that to shreds too, "Untested? The vaccine method itself has been developed for 50 years, the only thing they need to modify is the DNA that the vaccine is using." Yeah.. but..****...****..

He made a VERY good point that upon honest reflection I could NOT deny. I was being a CREATIONIST. I had a conclusion that I wanted to prove. For the past 6-7years, my whole life was begging the question. I almost cried when I realized this was actually true. I always thought I was being skeptical by not trusting the government, that ignorant, sleeping people just blindly follow their leaders and it takes a true free-thinker to think beyond their 'story'. He reminded me that to be truly "open minded" you need to be just as critical about YOUR OWN beliefs as you are about the beliefs you are denying. I thought to myself how much time I spent proving my case, compared to how much time I spent debunking my case, and then I realized, fuck, I'm a fool.



So that night I finally, with an open heart and an open mind I went to ... the government-paid shill sites such as Debunking 9/11 and Screw Loose Change. My biggest point was the free-fall collapse. So I looked that up first. I couldn't believe what I discovered. I was always under the assumption that a free-fall is impossible since each floor would resist the collapsing tower above it, and after only a few floors, it would have counteracted the fall and caused the top to topple sideways. Or that if a pancake happened, it would take a minute to occur. But this debunking site showed me the SIMPLE and STUPID error in my math, which can analog to forgetting to "carry the one". It elegantly explained to me, for the first time, that I am forgetting that with each floor that gives way it will ADD to the collapsing tower, and thus the downward force would INCREASE with each floor. Sure, the first few floors would offer a little resistant (hence the acceleration of the fall) but after a bit, the force would 'equal a mini-nuke worth of energy'. I smacked my head. All the sudden other thoughts crossed my mind, such as, "Well, if there WAS explosives rigged into the WTC, why didn't the random fires set any of them off? Exposing the lie, live on TV?" Which I guess is why some people think there were no planes on 9/11, otherwise the chance for this error to happen is far greater.

Ahhh, woe is me. I should have clued in when they started calling themselves "TRUTHERS", or when they started accusing everyone else of being "asleep" or "sheep".. The cult language didn't even phase me, but now that I'm out of that box, it seems to clear and obvious that I am embarrassed to have not seen it sooner, especially considering I'm formally trained in logical reasoning.

To conclude, I find the most effective method that worked on me was NOT to debate facts vs. facts, but to actually explain why a particular argument is a fallacy. With me, saying this and that is a veiled ad hominem worked. Perhaps to the "less educated", avoid referencing the exact fallacy and just explain the fallacy in laymans terms. Because I feel I would have changed my mind a LOT sooner if it wasn't a "My God is bigger than YOUR God" argument.

I appreciate your comments I hope you found this post useful, thanks for reading!!
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:32 AM   #2
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Thank goodness reason or "creative thought" took over and saved saved this man from a life of tinfoil hat wearing stupidity. For the same reason it may be cool to be a "blind dissenter" is the same it was cool to hate opposing taught during nazi germany. Things are not a black and white as they seem.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:44 AM   #3
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I was being a CREATIONIST.
that sums it up
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
.....I never noticed that I was in a cult....
Any current Obama maniacs care to hang their heads in shame as well???
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Last edited by Pocket_Aces; 09-01-2009 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:51 AM   #5
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at least he's open to logic and reason, that's what got him out of that conspiracy theory mindset. some ppl are too stubborn to change their minds, even when all logic and reason says otherwise.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by slackar View Post
at least he's open to logic and reason, that's what got him out of that conspiracy theory mindset. some ppl are too stubborn to change their minds, even when all logic and reason says otherwise.
Didn't you die or something??
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pocket_Aces View Post
Didn't you die or something??
god decided to be generous and resurrect me. I always knew I was god's gift.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by slackar View Post
god decided to be generous and resurrect me. I always knew I was god's gift.
Thank God then..... LL forums wouldn't be the same without you.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:18 AM   #9
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If the guy is for real then he obviously feels betrayed by the truther movement, he shouldnt have taken on arguements without thinking about them first.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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CT, this would have been a good post if not for the fact you work for the governments top secret disinformation sub-group-contract-committee allocated to disperse this false information arcross various networks through addressing it head on and on occassion with sublimial messages.

Seriously CT, the thing I want to know most is these "truthers' and others are so obsessed with 9-11 based on mostly false pretense, why is a guy like yourself with all the answers still intrigued by the online chatter that revolves around 9-ll
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