Why do truthers espouse such an out-there theory?

Instead of a more plausible theory, like the hijackers were really CIA assets or that somehow the powers that be let the hijackers slip through, most truthers want you to believe that the Twin Towers (and WTC7) were somehow prewired with some sort of thermite compound which was timed to go off when the planes struck. What gives? Was this theory advance by someone making fun of truthers which they then ran with? Does this theory originate with Loose Change?


In all seriousness, some people are just batshit insane so applying normal rules of logic to their thinking will not work and cannot work. It is a hopeless exercise and some types of conspiracy theorists are proof of that. I knew that there was something special about hardcore Truthers when some started claiming that planes weren’t involved at all especially at the Pentagon despite the fact that four planes took off that morning filled with people and never arrived at their destination. That was just another obvious fact for them to ignore or handwave away.

When it comes to truth and fact versus what we want to believe or the way we see the world, Humans have shown time and again that we will see truth and fact however we damn well need to in order to hold to our beliefs.

Because previously they had seen buildings wired for demolition come down on TV, and these buildings came down in the exact same way. Therefore, they must have been rigged with explosives.

On the flip side, planes had apparently hit buildings before and they The buildings) didn’t come down at all.

Hmmm… Makes perfect sense now.

People get caught up in a certain way of thinking that spins out of control from another way thinking’s perspective. Hey, even you and I may be a victim of that!

Ego. They feel important knowing more than everyone else. And once they buy into the conspiracy, they won’t let go because of the blow to their ego if they’re wrong.

Truthers start with their conclusion: The government staged 9-11! They then look for evidence to support this conclusion - hunting for anomalies that they can claim as evidence. The problem is, the more sensible conspiracy theories, such as the hijackers being CIA plants, don’t leave much visible evidence. Instead, they notice stuff that looks weird, like how we aren’t used to seeing buildings like that collapse and there are lots of things that they can point to as being contrary to common experience. This then leads to theories involving holographic airplanes and thermite, because those have the largest number of anomalies that the truthers can point to as evidence.

I’ve been on the Internet for almost 25 years now, and long ago I came to this conclusion: There is no theory so nutty that nobody is espousing it with total seriousness.

A good overview of what, if not why, is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_conspiracy_theories.

Since I doubt there is a definitive answer to this, let’s move it over to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I’ve also lived by the cautionary rule that one man’s insane conspiratorial ravings is another man’s political party.

There seems to be a weird mental phenomenon associated with that. They look at the micro-details and ignore the obvious huge facts. There are a lot of people to this day that maintain that a missile or something else hit the Pentagon rather than an airplane. They analyze the hole shape, the lack of film footage, and the small size of the debris field and come up with their own grand conclusions based on their assumptions.

Ok, where was the plane that took off and veered in that direction never to be heard from again? They say that isn’t important. Just look at this photo of the impact site and see that it isn’t airplane shaped according to what they assume it should be. Forget about the plane that was lost forever with real people on board. It was a missile that came from somewhere else! If there was ever a time to apply Occam’s razor, it would be then but no.

The Moon Landing Hoax advocates do the same thing. There is just something incredibly wrong with them that can’t be helped by rational conversation.

One thing I have concluded from that particular aspect of the Truther theory is that these people watched way too much Looney Toons when they were kids. It’s like because Wile E. Coyote leaves a coyote-shaped hole in the ground when he falls off a cliff, then massive impact damage in the real world should work the same way.

Because to rebut their nuttiness you have to give them what they really want. Attention. The whole fantasy is built around the idea that they know some truth that they will impart to you if you give them the one thing they really want. Your time… your attention.

The more wild the conspiracy, the more attention you have to give them to answer it. It’s a form of manipulative control designed to make you react. That gives them control of the conversation, and more importantly, makes you give them attention.

It’s similar to what a lot of the nuttier “birthers” do. Or Sheriff Joe Arapiao does every so often. Make up something nutty, and watch everyone dance around disproving your nuttiness. But who is the center of attention in that exercise. It’s NOT the people exposing the falsity of the claims, it’s the person making them.


I’m not a Truther, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Dick Cheney saw this coming way ahead of time. He was one of the best-informed people in Washington on these types of issues, for decades. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if, about a month after he finally dies, the truth comes out about exactly what he knew, and when he knew it.

So, you think Dick Cheney knew ahead of time that 3,000 people would be killed and that downtown Manhattan would be in shambles, and that the Pentagon would be struck and that (if it weren’t for the effort of some brave passengers) the White House would be demolished?

Ya. Sounds plausible.

Yeah, Dick Cheney was physically picked up by Secret Service agents in the middle of a meeting at the White House and whisked away to an undisclosed location because either the White House or the Capitol were the 4th target if not the first preference for the Pentagon strike. He could have easily been killed as well if things had gone according to plan. I am not seeing it either.

These beliefs go on a lunacy gradient with all kinds of variations. I am not convinced that most of them do just want attention. I just think they have incredibly poor reasoning skills and are extremely gullible to whatever arguments other people come up with and don’t have the capability of differentiating between something that is plausible or isn’t so all possibilities, no matter how remote, carry equal weight in their mind.


The White House had plenty of warning that an attack by bin Laden was imminent, per that link.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.


A number of the members of the 9/11 Commission resigned in protest of the Bush Administration’s attempts to protect itself from scrutiny of its handling of events surrounding the 9/11 attacks.
Cheney was, BY FAR, the most experienced and knowledgeable person in the White House re: this sort of thing. He was also privy to probably all of the advance warnings that came into the White House. We already know he outed Valerie Plame’s husband, so we know he’s not exactly above dirty behavior.

I just keep hoping that pacemaker will fail, so we can all find out the truth. Cheney’s existence is proof positive that God gives Satan free reign sometimes. ROFL

Well put.

Conspiracy theory believers I notice seem to lack a (for lack of a better phrase) “plausibility filter”. The wildest, least plausible claim is given the same credulousness as a perfectly reasonable one. They just don’t seem to make the same kind of distinctions as to plausibility as most people do.