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See No Truth, Hear No Truth, Speak No Truth

2011/09/04

Great article summarizing many of the psychological aspects of 9/11 truth vs denial: See No Truth, Hear No Truth, Speak No Truth by Herbert Agar.

A very enthusiastic lady said, “Hello. My name is Joanne. What is your name and why are you here?” I smiled in return, “My name is David,” I replied,” and I am a closet conspiracy theorist.”

“Well done David for admitting your problem. I think he deserves a round of applause.” Joanne started clapping. The others followed and congratulated me on coming to terms with my willingness to seek help with my “apparent” problem in questioning authority. Do you find this funny, strange or weird? In my opinion, this is where society is going.

The ‘conspiracy theory’ label is being increasingly used in society and by the media as a pejorative and derogatory label, yet the Oxford dictionary defines a conspiracy as “1. A secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful. 2 the action of conspiring.” Since 19 hijackers allegedly conspired to attack civilians and cause death and harm this is a conspiracy, yet to what extent it is theory or fact would be determined by an open and independent investigation, something that has not yet been carried out.

9/11 arouses strong emotions and the use of this term implies a person who dismisses such ‘theories’ are threatened by information they do not want to understand or implications that are too frightening to contemplate because of the impact it has on their own world view. They are fearful and are unwilling to be open-minded. […]

The attack was intended to appeal to a person’s emotional state including anger and revenge. As Manwell rightly says, any discussion of the attack prompts an emotional reaction which will, in turn, have an impact on any objective discussion of the evidence. Among many people, even after ten years, this influence remains deeply ingrained and is possibly the reason why very little significant progress has been made in demanding a new investigation. Self-censorship has major consequences for society.

[…]

The following topics are discussed:

Self affirmation theory
Conflict of interest and social dilemmas
Majority and minority influence
The effects of prior theories on subsequent evidence
Evaluation of political beliefs
Resistance to persuasion
Spiral of silence theory

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