A JOURNEY WITH JONATHAN | A Review of the Book, “Among the Truthers,” Written by Jonathan Kay Print
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 00:46

I should have known from the cartoons on the cover what Jonathan Kay's book, "Among the Truthers," would be like. But that old saying about not judging a book by its cover trumped my first impression. I recalled similar cartoons like the astronaut, flying saucers and helicopters on my pajamas, worn as a toddler. The book’s subtitle, "A Journey through Americas Growing Conspiracist Underground," should have been my second clue as to its contents.

An "Underground"? "Among the Truthers" is basically about the growing 9/11 Truth movement. “Truther” is slang, given by mainstream to individuals who first research the evidence and then realize that the official 9/11 story cannot be true. Kay tells of one former "truther" who finally did navigate the river Styx back to the mainstream from that underworld stating:

"There were a lot of nights when someone would go off on revolutionary rants, and we would be all rah-rah and get excited. At the time, I smoked a lot of pot with those guys. If you’re doing it everyday and watching propaganda, you're not going to be exercising your critical facilities."

What? I had to put the book down and look for my boots, as it was getting deep. I was a little ticked off, not so much for the obvious mischaracterization; but rather, if true, why was I never invited to any ranting "truther" events? When I started to educate myself, I simply signed a petition calling for a new investigation and conducted a few experiments to demonstrate what is, and what is not, physically possible. Not once was I invited to any dark underground pot smoking rah-rah meetings. I guess I am not on the “Truther A-list.” Certainly, if such exciting revolutionary rants really do take place, it might explain why the truth movement is growing.

What Kay neglects to tell the reader is that none of his “credentialed intellectual establishment” ever addressed the above-mentioned evidence, or dozens of other problems with the official story

According to Kay, it is not the rah-rah parties for the growth of the truth movement; instead, it’s something deeper and far more sinister. It’s so deep, that the average person that I know who questions the official 9/11 tale is not even aware of their “problem.” Kay’s book would help explain a puzzle, but not the puzzle of how the Twin Towers or Building 7 fell without violating physical laws. Rather, he outlines what he considers is this puzzle: What’s wrong with all those architects, engineers, scientists, researchers and thousands of others who place more faith in the fundamental laws of physics than the official 9/11 story?

I was once a “believer” in the official story, totally ignorant of the unexplained evidence and its violations of fundamental laws; "niggling anomalies" as Kay calls them, for over six years. I had my "uh-oh" moment late in 2007 when a friend, knowing that I was a nerdy engineer, forwarded a video that focused on the twin towers’ fall. The shock reminded me of when I learned the sad truth about Santa Claus. Like all children, I had sat on Santa’s lap and seen evidence everywhere, convinced of his existence. How could millions of parents coordinate and keep this huge lie under wraps? Regardless, physics tells us that reindeers cannot fly, and that same understanding of science confirmed the unfortunate truth of 9/11. That science includes:

  • The evidence of iron micro spheres found in the dust, indicating temperatures hot enough to melt iron had been reached.
  • The downward acceleration of the North Tower’s roof with no “jolts”, meaning that a force far less (not more) than its static weight was imposed on the undamaged tower below while the upper “block” of floors accelerated down.
  • The evidence of the sudden free fall of WTC 7 for over 100 feet.
  • The evidence melting of steel beams.
  • The evidence of active nano-thermite, a high tech incendiary found throughout the dust.

Alas, Kay totally avoids all scientific evidence from the outset, referring the reader to the reports by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), "debunking websites" and the 9/11 Commission Report for answers to those and dozens of other critical “niggling anomalies.” Kay peddles the notion that only "the credentialed intellectual establishment" are “true experts" having the capability to comprehend the meaning of such complex matters like a falling object or melting of steel. What he neglects to tell the reader is that none of his “credentialed intellectual establishment” ever addressed the above-mentioned evidence, or dozens of other problems with the official story.

It would be as if Kay travelling back to the early 1600’s, avoided all Galileo's observations of planetary motions that bought him to question the official geocentric universe. Rather than address the evidence, Kay would psychoanalyze Galileo and his followers’ personal habits and beliefs in an effort to “understand” why Galileo dared to consider such blasphemies. No doubt Kay would simply dismiss his planetary anomalies stating the science has been settled for well over 1000 years, and referred the reader to Ptolemy, the Bible, Aristotle and "the credentialed intellectual establishment" for answers to that heretic’s niggling observations.

Jonathan Kay uses his book to launch extensive ad hominem attacks at those who question the official 9/11 story and dismiss the scientific evidence that disproves the official narrative

Once Kay sidesteps the key evidence, which is at the very heart of the truth movement, he is now free to offer his journalistic psychology lesson that outlines why those who trust scientific laws rather than the official story need to be diagnosed and stopped.

"Diagnosing and fighting conspiracism is an important project which is why I wrote this book,” says Kay. Evidently, honestly addressing the unanswered scientific evidence about the three largest structural failures in history and the murder of almost 3000 innocents on Sept 11 is a far less important project.

Kay sets out by re-defining Webster’s definition of what a conspiracy theorist or “conspiracist” is. Redefining and ignoring evidence are also important elements of 9/11 "debunking." Kay adopts the definition as a "theory that traces important events to a secretive, nefarious cabal, and whose proponents consistently respond to contrary facts not by modifying their theory but instead by insisting on the existence of ever-wider circles of high-level conspirators controlling most or all parts of society.”

Despite the fact that a growing number of architects, physicists, researchers and chemists specifically do not get into the “who done it” nefarious cabal issues, Kay devotes considerable time smearing architect Richard Gage, AIA, physicist Steven Jones, Ph.D., and 9/11 researcher Gregg Roberts by outlining some “midlife crisis” or perhaps workaholics living all alone with “dark visions.” Kay places “truthers” in categories such as “damaged survivors,” “firebrands” or “cranks,” where some may be “prone to rambling.” Since Isaac Newton never married and was a workaholic who focused on some rather unorthodox concepts in the 1660’s; he would also fit nicely into one of Kay’s psycho-categories.

Kay uses famous quotes intended to be applied to the “conspiracy theorist,” but in reality, they are most appropriate for mainstream pitchmen like him who refuse to address the evidence

Kay dedicates the early chapters to a "brief history of conspiracism,” including discussions on the Illuminati, Freemasons, KKK and the John Birch Society. Kay weaves in reptilian lizard people, UFO’s, extraterrestrials, and others, for his not so subtle goal of linking those physicists, architects, chemists and engineers who enlighten us about the serious questions of 9/11, with some of the more “out there” theories.

To Kay's credit, he rightfully acknowledges that the average “truther” is nonviolent, with above average intelligence, and many with technical degrees or Ph.D.s. He also says he is not suggesting they harbor any hatred or are explicitly racist or anti-Semitic. Nevertheless, "they are still conspiracists and the threat currently posed by modern conspiracists is not physical, but cultural." Accordingly, he says, "It’s a trend that every thinking person has a duty to fight."

Kay acknowledges that there is always a “grain of truth” to conspiracy theories. For example, he mentioned on a recent radio program regarding the JFK assassination that “it is entirely possible that there was a second gunman involved,” a fact confirmed by the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation which was conducted 15 years after the Warren Commission issued its lone-gunman and magic -bullet report. To me, the lone gunman vs. a conspiracy to murder the president is a rather large “grain of truth.”

Kay refers readers to the NIST report on Building 7, but fails to mention that NIST admitted that WTC 7 came down at free-fall acceleration for more than two seconds, a feat that is only possible through controlled demolition

However, the thrust of the book is really about how “anti-Semitism” links to “conspiracies.” “…ancient forms of conspiracism typically vilified one of two enemies: Jews and secret societies.” Virtually every chapter is filled with the worn out "anti-Semite" slur and the “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist” card is played, intended to place guilt by association on anyone who dares to honestly question 9/11.

"Not all conspiracy theorists are anti-Semitic. But all conspiracy movements--all of them--attract anti-Semites.” according to Kay. So anyone who ever wondered about our perpetual debt and who really owns the Federal Reserve, or those who think it is a little odd that active nano-thermite was found all through the WTC dust, is now somehow linked to “anti-Semitism.” It is a wonderful tactic that can be used on any entity that one wants to vilify, without ever really addressing the questions.

For example, would you like to demonize those of us who think the Second Amendment is important? Just say: Not all gun owners are child murderers. But all children killed by bullets--all of them--were killed by a child murdering gun owner. Perhaps you don’t like to hear the fat lady sing? Simply mention: Not all church choir members are overweight. But all church choirs--all of them--attract overweight people. What Kay is suggesting of course, is that anyone even thinking about violating a social norm or asking intelligent questions about official explanations like Galileo did, could be, and probably should be tarnished as a potential “anti-Semite” in an effort to silence them.

There are not just a few “niggling anomalies” or a few "grains of truth,” about 9/11. Rather there are enough grains of truth to make entire beaches resting on a bedrock of natural laws, where the official story is getting pounded by waves of “niggling anomalies.”

Kay also dwells on something called “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” I never heard of them. Evidently they are a list of secret Jewish goals that are used to explain events and a “document that would become the most influential conspiracist tract since the era of the French Revolution.” What they, or anti-Semitism has to do with studying the evidence or the laws of physics, remained unexplained.

Kay is just a mainstream pitchman, insisting that our government and the mass media’s explanation of 9/11 must be true because those in leadership positions would never conspire to undertake or hide illegal events. This belief is their bedrock, no matter what evidence rears its ugly head after it was “officially” explained and regardless of how many laws of physics are violated.

For example, at the beginning of each AE911Truth presentation, Richard Gage, AIA, asks the audience how many believe in the official story and then asks the same question at the end. The vast majority in the audience “switches” or at least questions the official story once they hear the scientific evidence. Not Kay. “I’ve heard Gage speak three times in three different cities,” says Kay. “Before beginning his presentation in Montreal, Gage had polled the crowd on their views. Five people, including me and my guest, said they believed the official story of 9/11. Once Gage had finished, he conducted a second poll. This time, when he asked how many people supported the official theory, mine was the only hand raised. Shocked, I cast a glance at the friend sitting beside me. After three hours in a room with Richard Gage, she’d changed her vote to “not sure.” Ever the pitchman, apparently only Jonathan Kay thrust his hand skyward enthusiastically supporting the official story, despite the conflicting scientific evidence presented. Kay is an intelligent man and one would think that with his background in metallurgy, he would wonder just a little about those iron microspheres, eutectic formations or why all that active nano-thermite was found in the dust.

Kay uses famous quotes intended to be applied to the “conspiracy theorist,” but in reality, they are most appropriate for mainstream pitchmen like him who refuse to address the evidence, such as this one by Joseph A Schumpeter: “Many things that do amount to tampering with effects of logic do not in our field necessarily present themselves as dishonesty to the man who practices such tampering. He may be so fundamentally convinced of the truths of what he is standing for that he would rather die than give new weight to contradicting facts of pieces of analysis. The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.”

Despite calling us names like “anti-Semites”, “tin foil hatters”, “twoofers”, “conspiracy theorists”, and despite desperate efforts to spin those who question 9/11 in a negative light, Kay and the intellectual establishment simply cannot convince us that 2+2=5

Indeed. I changed my mind about 9/11 upon learning of the key scientific evidence; but Kay, regardless of freefall, active nano-thermite, iron microspheres, the strange fall of the towers inner core columns (“the spire”) well after the floors and roof fell and other unexplained evidence, is “so fundamentally convinced of the truths of what he is standing for, that he would rather die than give new weight to contradicting facts of pieces of analysis.”

The idea that the 9/11 masterminds are sufficiently powerful to control the reporting of thousands of different American news outlets as well as stifle after the fact disclosures from hundreds of active conspirators, is farfetched,” according to Kay.

First, it’s a known fact that the ownership of the media has been concentrated to a handful of powerful individuals over the last 50 years. For example, Rupert Murdoch, a strong supporter of the wars, controls over 175 papers and Fox News, who is strangely quiet about the alleged hacking of Americans phones and possibly even 9/11 victims to gather intelligence or bolster revenues. Secondly, just like parents really don’t conspire to hide the truth about Santa, it’s natural for most that work for the media, if they want to keep their job, to ignore or stifle uncomfortable evidence. Finally, it really doesn’t matter what one thinks is “farfetched,” because “farfetched” is still possible. Yet freefall, nano-thermite, iron microspheres and many other “niggling anomalies” are totally impossible, blowing the official story wide open.

Kay also faults the internet for the rapid rise in so-called conspiracy theories. "The Internet actually has exacerbated the human instinct toward parochialism, tribalism and conspiracism," Kay says. Just like Kay downplays critical pieces of evidence, calling them anomalies, he also adds a negative modifier when discussing websites questioning 9/11, and a glowing one when referring to the government story or its supporters. He writes: "So a flashy well travelled site peddling discredited conspiracies will be featured more prominently in Google’s search results, than, say a government website full of accurate information." In fact, there are many 9/11 sites that are not “discredited” and government websites that are not “full of accurate information.”

The real problem for the pitchmen is that the ugly truth is pouring from this open electronic medium, and the government cannot stop the flood. Perhaps this is the real reason for the ongoing push to control the internet, using copyright violations and cyber- terrorism as the excuse

The rise of the truth movement with legitimate questions is not “a trend that every thinking person has a duty to fight” as Kay wants you to believe

Jonathan Kay has difficulties understanding why "conspiracist causes can gain strength even when mainstream journalists seek to tackle the underlying subject in a professional and objective way." Maybe it’s because mainstream journalists do not treat the subject in a professional and objective way. Based on my own experience, in order to understand the erosion in confidence of the mass media, Kay ought to watch the BBC production called The Third Tower. The BBC told us “the claims of the mysterious melted steel from tower 7 have been unraveled. The sulfur came from masses of gypsum wall board that was pulverized and burned in the fires.” Not only is the formation of sulfur or iron sulfide from calcium sulfate chemically impossible in an open air fire, but an experiment I conducted with gypsum around a steel beam heated to similar temperatures proved the BBC and the debunking sites, dead wrong.

Or he should watch the PBS documentary, “Why the Towers Fell,” that clearly told us they fell due to a "pancake collapse,” (which Kay parroted in a radio interview) complete with cartoon graphics demonstrating the fall of the tower floors and roof; but which left the core columns standing. Years later, when NIST finally managed to get to the initiation of collapse (but were “unable to provide a full explanation of the collapse”) they stated that the towers were not a pancake collapse, contrary to what PBS clearly told its viewers.

Likewise, the National Geographic “Science & Conspiracy Part 5” conducted an experiment with thermite in order to “prove” that thermite could not melt steel. Kay’s favorite debunking website said it could not cut a horizontal column. Moreover, the mainstream program Mythbusters could not melt through the thin roof of a car with a half of ton of thermite. Yet all three media sources were proved wrong by experiments demonstrating that indeed even crude thermitic material could slice through a column using much smaller quantities.

With portrayals like these proven to be total lies, no wonder the mass media has lost our respect. It is the media’s fraudulent misrepresentation of the facts that is eroding confidence, not because of any “anti-Semitism” of the viewers.

Kay tells us that ". . . there is no fact, historical event, or scientific phenomenon whose truth cannot, in some way, be brought into question by an inventive mind on the hunt for niggling "anomalies.” Here again, Kay is wrong. There are many significant historical events where there are no “inventive minds” hunting for “niggling anomalies.” Examples include the Columbia and Challenger space shuttle accidents and the Hindenburg disaster.

Most importantly, there is “scientific phenomenon” we all agree on that we call "laws," and not just “theories” of physics. There are not just a few “niggling anomalies” or a few "grains of truth,” about 9/11. Rather there are enough grains of truth to make entire beaches resting on a bedrock of natural laws, where the official story is getting pounded by waves of “niggling anomalies.”

Jonathan Kay does not contemplate that it’s not “anti-Semitism”, but rather significant evidence and facts that are contrary to the official story which leaves us begging for answers. When left unanswered by “the credentialed intellectual establishment,” of course it gives rise to "conspiracy theories” in an effort to explain the evidence. We may not know exactly who did it or how things were done, but we do know that the laws of physics prove the official story wrong, just like we know that 2+2=4.

Kay acknowledges “ . . .that whenever I tried to debate Truthers in the facts of 9/11, for instance, all of my accumulated knowledge about the subject has proven useless- because in every exchange, the conspiracy theorist inevitably would ignore the most obvious evidence and instead focus the discussion on the handful of obscure allegedly incriminating oddities that he has memorized.”

His “obvious evidence” is his mainstream mantra relying on “the credentialed intellectual establishment” or absurd statements like “someone would have talked” as if state secrets, highly classified information and military operations are routinely blabbed by those involved. On the other hand, the “obscure incriminating oddities” include total impossibilities such as the absolute freefall of WTC 7 for over 100 feet (impossible with a gravitational collapse), the melting of steel (impossible with an office fire), the lack of deceleration or jolts (necessary to impose a load in excess of its own weight in order to crush the lower undamaged portion of the towers), and the high tech nano-thermite, that is impossible to form naturally due to entropy laws.

The real reason that Kay and his “credentialed intellectual establishment” cannot win any debates is because the “truthers,” made up of thousands of architects, engineers, researchers, and scientists who are “normal articulate people who keep up with the news and hold down office jobs,” are right. Because despite calling us names like “anti-Semites”, “tin foil hatters”, “twoofers”, “conspiracy theorists”, and despite desperate efforts to spin those who question 9/11 in a negative light, Kay and the intellectual establishment simply cannot convince us that 2+2=5.

Since Kay admits having “been personally humbled by my failure to get the best of conspiracy theorists,” he sees the solution as an “ounce of prevention” and the need to “protect our brains from conspiracy theories before they have a chance to infect our thinking.” He says that conspiracism “can be minimized by applying the same self critical self aware mindset that has served to stigmatize racism, overt anti-Semitism and related forms of bigotry in recent decades.” The solution according to Kay is “an anticonspiracist curriculum (that) would aim to provide students with grounding in Internet literacy. Students would be taught the difference between news and opinion; and between websites that are run by professional journalists, and those that are not.”

I don’t think that much could be more Orwellian than Kay’s “anticonspiracist curriculum” and indoctrination program run by journalists to “protect the brains” of our students so they don’t get “infected” by critical thinking looking at those “niggling anomalies”.

Kay wants you to trust authority because he says they are the “true experts,” and not to bother to research or think on your own. But history has proven time and again, that authority simply cannot be trusted. The great physicist Albert Einstein knew this well stating, “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Perhaps Einstein was an anti-Semite.

Kay provides a quote by Harold Macmillan, former Prime Minister of Britain that is most appropriate for this book: “That if you work hard and diligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot. And that, in my view is the main, if not the sole purpose of education.” I encourage everyone to educate themselves on the science of 9/11, that proves the twin towers and WTC 7 could not have “collapsed” by gravity and fire alone, so you can detect when a man is talking rot.

Investigators normally encourage people to step forward and offer tips for much smaller crimes, and only one minor “niggling anomalycan dramatically change the outcome. For some reason that same encouragement to step forward about 9/11 is absent, as those highlighting mountains of unresolved scientific evidence are ignored or attacked as “conspiracy theorists” or worse.

America is deep in debt and spent over a trillion more on security and wars using 9/11 as the excuse. Why wouldn’t any person with morals want to look at the evidence or spend a relative pittance on a truly independent investigation in order to resolve the unanswered questions? The devil is always in the details, and maybe those who don’t want to look at the details of 9/11, just may have some link to that devil.

The rise of the truth movement with legitimate questions is not “a trend that every thinking person has a duty to fight” as Kay wants you to believe. Rather, using our founding fathers’ wisdom as a guide, it is every citizen’s duty to question the government in order to prevent it from naturally slipping ever closer toward tyranny, especially about events that murdered thousands, brought us endless war and debt, and restricted individual liberties--like that of 9/11.