So, my kids and I watched a 9-11 conspiracy flick…

I know that it might be unwise to bring this up, given the crank comments that the topic tends to generate, but I thought it might be a good example of the fact that I really am not ignorant of various claims.

My kids and I were poking around Netflix last night and came across a pro-conspiracy flick about the September 11 attacks titled 911: In Plane Sight — not a misspelling, by the way, but apparently a play on words. It was created by a particular radio host for a program I won’t honor with free advertising (though I mention the movie title because I want It to be clear it was a real “documentary”).

I selected it (it was free), and two of the boys and I watched it with the other two joining in later. And I have to say that watching it with the boys was interesting.

And it was rewarding. The boys began to pick through what was said and to take apart the host’s “analysis” just as easily as I could. The leaps of “logic” were many, and the unjustified conclusions were legion. To my delight, the boys saw through much of what was said without my help at all, and — perhaps, needless to say at this point — we finished the documentary absolutely unconvinced that anything the host said was true in any way. I think we all believed he was sincere, but not a single conclusion he drew was credible to any of us sitting there. And it was a great opportunity to explain to the boys how such ill-formed theories can arise and how a chaotic mess of data can often be assembled in a number of different ways, especially when cherry-picked and pieced together by someone with an ideological motive.

It was a lesson, too, in how all of us — me and the kids, too — can become horrible interpreters of facts when our desires and human will begin to cloud our judgment. At one point, Boy #3 exclaimed, “How can he say that?!? Is he watching the same video footage we are?” Indeed, what was obvious to us was not even a possibility to the narrator. But, again, we didn’t doubt the guy’s sincerity — just his good judgment.

Jeremiah 17:9 works on all of us, without exception. And while it is easy (frankly, was easy) to sit back and be snarky after a while when you see how oblivious someone can be, the lesson shouldn’t be lost on us that all of us are capable of the same obliviousness — all of us are very capable of failing to see the obvious in favor of our own preferred view or conclusion. Perhaps it doesn’t involve an unreasonable conspiracy theory, but it may involve our opinion about a difficulty with our spouse, or about an argument we had with a friend, or even larger issues. Fill in the blank yourself. And be imaginative.

I know our politicians are capable of lying (like we all are). I know they can make cold, heartless decisions in pursuit of purposes they deem significant that would seem horrific to others. No doubt. And I know that truly abominable decisions have been made throughout time by people in power to gain more power — whether in the form of money or influence or land or whatever. Certainly so.

But last night my kids and I we unified in the same point I have tried to make before: When it comes to certain conspiracy theories, the reason I don’t think them credible is not because of the high regard I have for human government or mankind in general — rather, it is because the “evidence” and arguments presented for the theories, in light of all the evidence and reasonable explanations available, is simply not credible.

(And BTW: Including “all the evidence and reasonable explanations available” is important. As has been demonstrated, programs like Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory” show sometimes edit out information that would make one reasonably doubt their conclusions. Check out their misleading editing concerning “super thermite paint” as an example. Part of what sustains some conspiracy theories — not all, but part — is the self-filtering of information, only accepting “evidence” that fits the theory. Anyone who thinks such programs as those represent real investigative work as opposed to entertainment with an investigative-ish flavor show a severe lack of discernment.)

So, to those who disagree with my stands on most of those matters, feel free. (Please don’t clog the comments on this post with more theory junk, though. I will likely not approve such comments.) but please don’t say it’s because I am too trusting of the government, or because I haven’t seen the “evidence,” or because I won’t give such arguments a fair consideration. I really have looked at many claims. I — and, I am happy to report, my sons — simply find them not credible: merely less credible than more reasonable theories in the kindest of circumstances, and completely ludicrous in the worst.

For a post linking to a good commentary from the Living Church of God on the topic of conspiracy theories and a biblical, Christian perspective, click here: “Living Church of God: ‘Is it a conspiracy?'”

9 thoughts on “So, my kids and I watched a 9-11 conspiracy flick…

  1. Steve

    Did it have proof by innuendo and suggestion, complete with Alfred Hitchcock music? Those type of films actually make good popcorn movies. On a more serious side… I think a lot of those guys just pump out conspiracy flicks to make money off gullible minds with itching ears. Peddlers.

  2. It was a lesson, too, in how all of us — me and the kids, too — can become horrible interpreters of facts when our desires and human will begin to cloud our judgment.

    Most interesting! 😀 If we consider our “ego points of view” (centered functionally on the biblical “spirit in man”) and all our brain’s “cognitive processes” (centered in the physical brain), it seems that if our egos (centers of our will) on the one hand and our moral consciences (our brain’s personal value judgment) on the other don’t surrender to God, the rest of the cognition won’t follow. Get those two conquered, and logic can be appealed to, real-time and historical data corrected, how one relates to group values appeased, insight and foresight adjusted. But it seems that unless one’s spiritual will and one’s mental free moral agency surrender, nothing else can or will.

    Conspiracy theorists, I’m afraid, are in that category. Everything else in their thinking is bent toward something they both will and desire to believe. But as you say, we can make the mistake ourselves in countless other approaches to life.

    Can I resign from the human race and avoid the rush? 😦

  3. Gail Abdow

    I was very happy to see these thoughts. I’ve noticed lately that there is so much conspiracy “information” out there on Facebook (some of it posted by members of our own church!). Perhaps it’s a result of watching too many conspiracy fiction television shows and movies.that people become suspicious of their government. Thanks again for bringing this to the fore.

  4. Your post blesses me deep within; yesterday while traveling to my grandson’s breathing therapy my daughter, who was in the same car as I, collided with me. It was over the “Zimmerman” trial. She claimed rock hard ground to sit on over there in her seat and she would not listen to one thing that was in disagreement with her statement that Zimmerman should have went to jail. In her mind there was only one piece of evidence that mattered and all other was dismissed. We finally turned to one another and began to say the same thing, “we’ll have to agree to disagree”. I was a little disappointed as I thought I had given correct information, which didn’t give either the boy or Zimmerman much credit for that night, that anyone could surely see. Satan is alive and well on planet earth for now.
    Documentaries like you watched and conversations like had, tell the whole story don’t they? People can easily be deceived and that includes the truths that are sitting in black and white in God’s Word. One can read them, see them and not understand them and so when someone comes along preaching a false Christ and a false way, the masses listen. To God’s Glory it won’t always be that way!

  5. Darnell Nurse

    I would recommend you watch the documentary “911: In Plane Sight – Director’s Cut”. It’s on YouTube. If it is not the Director’s Cut version then you have wasted your time.

  6. Thanks, Mr. Nurse. It was, indeed, the “Director’s Cut”, and my sons and I still found it utterly unconvincing and easily refuted and dismissed, as described above. Thanks for asking — I didn’t know there was a “non-Director’s Cut” so I did not make that distinction.

  7. WALLACE SMITH is a commentator.
    His initials are WGS.
    If you add an “i” it spells WiGS
    Pigs rhymes with Wigs, therefore, we can eat pigs.
    People wear Wigs.
    People have eyes.
    Potatoes have eyes.
    Eggs are shaped like small potatoes.
    Eggs are used during Easter, therefore, we can keep Easter.
    The word East is in Easter.
    The sun rises in the East.
    Roses need the sun to bloom.
    Roses are red.
    Santa Claus is red, therefore we can keep Christmas.

    “Come now, and let us reason together”.

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