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Triumph and Disaster: Reflections on the 9/11 Accountability Conference

“I love disaster, and I love what comes after.” –Tom Verlaine 

My first 9/11 skeptic’s conference was the DC Truth Convergence in July, 2005. At first glance it might have seemed like a disaster, both for me (my decision to go almost cost me my marriage) and for the organizers (they lost money big time). 

But disasters, I discovered, could be learning opportunities, even opportunities for personal growth. I know it sounds hackneyed. But just as the 9/11 inside job, the worst disaster this country has ever faced, gives us all the tools we need to achieve peace, transparency and Constitutional governance—every pyroclastic toxic dust cloud has its silver lining—so do other superficially calamitous events ultimately uplift us in ways we never could have imagined. 

Disasters, like so much else, are in the eye of the beholder. The recent 9/11 Accountability Conference in Chandler, Arizona is an extreme example. Some of the folks I’ve talked to think it was a disaster, while others say it was fantastic, amazing, stupendous, the high point of their lives. 

The downbeat analysts cite statistics, as downbeat analysts often do. The organizers had hoped that over a thousand would attend. When “only” several hundred came, they faced financial problems, as well as a problem of perception. 

But most attendees did not seem particularly miserable to be in a crowd of hundreds rather than thousands. I remember my own feelings as a 9/11 conference newbie at the 2005 DC Truth convergence: Wow! I get to sit in a small group and chat with Webster Tarpley for over an hour! I get to meet and converse with folks like Bob Bowman, Nafeez Ahmed, Barbara Honneger, Morgan Reynolds, Paul Thompson, and Barrie Zwicker! I get invited to a dinner party along with Jeanette MacKinley, a true 9/11 artist-heroine! And I get to know the fantastic, dedicated, less-well-known activists who are making everything happen, folks like Gabriel Day and Janice Matthews and Mia Hamel and dozens of others! 

Some attendees complained of a lack of organization and focus at the D.C. Convergence. But the real point of any 9/11 conference is not its organization and official goals, which will always be inadequate to the monumental task. It is the chance to meet and interact with the real live people at the other end of your internet connection, exchange ideas and enthusiasm, bask in the atmosphere of hundreds of people living in actual reality (sure beats trying to survive amongst the mob of psychotic zombies that passes for the non-9/11-hip population) and go home weary but somehow refreshed. It’s like the complete opposite of a trip to Disneyland. Instead of leaving reality to briefly inhabit a puerile fantasy, we leave the puerile fantasy of the sheeple and touch bases with other members of the reality-based community. And sure, reality is messy. That’s the whole point. 

From that standpoint, the 9/11 Accountability Conference was an unqualified success—a messy reality that will still be inspiring us long after we’ve returned to our PhilDickian halflife among the mindless, regimented zombie hordes. 

What good will come of it? There is no way of knowing—and that’s the beauty of the thing. The D.C. Convergence planted seeds that blossomed all over the country, inspiring all sorts of actions including the Chicago Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future conference of June 2006, which massively grew the movement and helped put 9/11 truth on the mainstream map. And that Chicago Conference’s seeds spread even further. I discovered one example during my recent visit to Austin, home of a kick-ass new bookstore named Brave New Books—probably the best place on the planet to study up on 9/11 and related subjects. The two guys who started that store met at the Chicago Conference, after having traveled there separately from Austin! As one of the organizers of the Chicago Conference, I could never have foreseen that result. It had little to do with the level of discipline and organization of the Conference’s organizers, I am sorry to say. Brave New Books emerged from the serendipity of bringing people together physically, and letting a thousand flowers bloom.

That’s what the Arizona organizers did, and I salute them for it. I know how incredibly hard it is to put on this kind of event. A few years from now, when we look back, who knows how many good things will have grown from seeds planted at the 9/11 Accountability Conference in Chandler, Arizona. 

* * * 

PS-This just in from Jon Gold: 

I just found out that Michele Little has contacted John Feal, and spoke with him for a good hour today. Her brother David's birthday falls on the same day as the FealGood Foundation's benefit concert. She will be attending and appearing as his guest. 

Hopefully just her being there will raise a lot of money for them, and give them even more exposure.

If people ask you what good has come from this conference... There's a GREAT example. 

Jon


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