And it works : the cult claims every day more followers, and because of the network effect (now that more and more people talk about it around me, it sounds more plausible), "skeptics" now refer to the few naïves who keep refusing to believe in The Obvious Truth. At the speed of light or almost (not everybody is optical fiber connected, but the internet surely helps), an underground streamlet becomes the powerful mainstream.
By the end of 2006, more than one third of Americans thought that 9/11 was somehow masterminded by their own Government (cf "Why the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Won't Go Away" - Time Magazine 20060903). At that stage, this alternative propaganda reached the levels of the official propaganda circa 2004 elections. By "official propaganda", I mean the neocon/theocon spin (Saddam did it), not the plain facts (al Qaeda did it).
Of course, the vast majority of believers have nothing to do with the minority of activists from the far left and the far right who designed this now indestructible perpetual motion device. The aim of the game is not to reveal truth but to keep masses of faithful citizens very angry against the media, democracy or justice... and thus ready to switch to something radically different.
In an ultra-conservative's "best of all possible worlds", the Democratic Party, which somewhat managed to sideline the more or less nihilist "ultra-liberals" who doomed its federal elections for decades, could face the same turmoil as the Republican Party facing its own fundamentalist "minority" (see "GOP : Time to Split"). In a nutshell : US extreme right, in its last throes, resuscitating US extreme left... now we're talking conspiration theories, GOPdamnit !
I've already made1 the parallel with fundamentalism and explained how decent citizens, legitimately demanding accountability and transparency, are being shamelessly fooled, how 9/11 revisionist movements actually serve both the terrorists who committed the crimes, and the excuse for an administration that deliberately betrayed the victims and lied to its own people.
You want to elaborate on this parallel.
In the endless and strange alternative swamps roam self-proclaimed Keepers of The Truth About 9/11. I guess this breed of fundamentalists, "Truthers", owe their name to the same guys who came up with "pro-life" for "anti-abortion rights". Just like with religious fundamentalists, you can find an infinity of Truths, sects, and charismatic preachers. The difference is that each one of them publishes his own Holy Book.
Speaking of which... one of the main reasons why conspiration theories keep multiplying is the fact that the supposed reference book happens to be a total joke for everyone, including its own authors. Doomed from the start, The 9/11 Commission Report was reluctantly initiated more than one year after the attacks (at that time, even the name of the House Majority Leader was DeLay), and carefully monitored and edited in order to spare the Bush-Cheney ticket... Unsurprisingly, when the final report was issued (July 2004), 9/11 revisionists had more fish to fry than 11/2 conspiratists.
Aggravating circumstances : the whole 9/11 affair is plagued with all the ingredients needed for vintage conspiracy theories. Secret services from Western and Eastern countries alike were aware of the eminence of a massive terror attack in the US involving planes, the White House dismissed the threats, neocons (and Darth Vader himself, the very Lord of False Flags) were waiting for the occasion to spread wealth for corporate lobbies and mayhem for enemies of democracy, the operation leveraged on al Qaeda's comprehensive network and often from US friendly countries, and the public opinion had been relentlessly carpet bombed by Dubya's Weapons of Mass Disinformation... enough stuff to feed one successful thriller trilogy, two sequels, five prequels and a pretzel - no sweeteners needed, thank you.
Anyway... Truthers are pumped up to the max, and they want to expose everything about 9/11. Well... almost everything. For instance, they refuse to see those plane debris around the Pentagon, they don't want to consider the potential links between the collapse of the WTC and the minor dent caused by a small boeing passing by, and they have no clue whatsoever how a peaceful santa claus look-alike meditating in the Afghan mountains could have any connection with this American tragedy.
As Michelle Malkin nailed it the other day, "The plain truth will never mollify a Truther"2.
Truthers are the masters of cover-up : everyday, they overwhelm facts with thick layers of new documents, analysis, and theories. Everyday, this fertile soil welcomes more fundamentalists eager to grow everyday more greenbacks. Too bad the said theories are not as sustainable as this profitable ecosystem...
Which may explain why, when it comes to claiming justice, those guys are more successful at building Facebook petitions than bulletproof cases for the usual legal path.
I mean come on, this is America, a country where even before gas prices took a hike, there were more lawyers per capita than cars (I'm wrong ? Sue me). This is Amerika, a country where the First Amendment makes sure the Nazi Party can parade in Ohio or sponsor a highway in Oregon3. This is America, back on track, where even the President's Vice and his former Chief Torture Officer can be brought to justice4. This is America, where even O. J. Simpson can run, but can't hide.
The day someone actually finds the proof that al Qaeda didn't commit 9/11, and the day this person actually wants to make his Truth triumph in the arms of Justice, he will succeed. You betcha.
The question is who's gonna win the Race of the Millenium : the fundamentalists desperately waiting for the WTC Messiah, or the fundamentalists ready to provoke the second coming of the Christ / Mahdi via their own false flag5 ?
1 - sorry dear compassionate reader, but you'll have to visit my French website for that blogule ("Propagande + contre-propagande = tout bénef pour les extrémistes"). Ditto for the parody I recently committed about a mythical French 9/11 ("11 Septembre français : l'incroyable vérité"). Needless to say Truthers didn't enjoy the joke and retaliated. I decided to expose them once again in "Baggy Truthers", a blogule which I decided to follow-up with a translation into my broken English (the very pamphlet you're reading right now).2 - "The plain truth will never mollify a Truther. There’s always a convoluted excuse – some inconsequential discrepancy to seize on, some photographic “evidence” to magnify into a blur of meaningless pixels – that will rationalize irrationality." ("Truthers to the left of me, truthers to the right" 20081205).
NB: yeah, I know... I'm a subscriber to Karl Rove's e-mails and I sail dangerous seas over the web. But browsing the site of a "conservative syndicated columnist, author, and Fox News Channel contributor" can be rewarding sometimes. Check this banner out : what a lovely souvenir I fished on her homepage yesterday - Santa GOP has already come to town ! I voted McCain and all I got is this lousy Palin 2012 T-shirt ! =>
3 - see "Red blogule to the First Amendment - Land of Opportunity for Nazis, Land of Plenty for Fascism"
4 - see "Everybody loves Raymondville, TX"
5 - see "Iran : who wants war and why"