Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?

Part 10: Terror Management Theory


Part 11: Systems Justification Theory

© by Frances T. Shure, 2014

911-experts-shure Editor’s Note: Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C., has performed an in-depth analysis addressing a key issue of our time: “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?” The resulting essay, being presented here as a series, is a synthesis of both academic research and clinical observations.

In answering the question in the title of this essay, the August segment, Part 9, reported on the interface between brain research and the study of moral psychology, and how this research demonstrates that some moral convictions are innate and thus hardwired in the human nervous system. Additionally, we learned that some of these innate brain structures make it difficult for 9/11 Truth activists to present their evidence, as well as for listeners to receive this evidence openly.

We continue Ms. Shure’s analysis in October with a dual offering — Part 10: Terror Management Theory, and Part 11: Systems Justification Theory. They examine, respectively, how the fear of our own death and the need to feel good about the cultural system in which we live create resistance to the evidence presented by 9/11 skeptics.

Part 10: Terror Management Theory

terror-mngt-theory-articleTerror Management Theory postulates that whenever we are introduced to information that reminds us of death — such as simply the mention of 9/11 — our anxiety increases, since we are reminded of our own inevitable death. This anxiety is called “mortality salience.” Studies show that our behavior immediately becomes more defensive when we are reminded of death. In turn, we become increasingly insecure. This normally causes us to show increased preference for members of our own group (the “in group”) over out-group members; to show more “consensus bias,” or favoritism toward those who hold beliefs similar to our own; and to develop “compensatory conviction,” an inflated faith in our personal worldview, such as a bias toward our own country and religion.

Therefore, when we skeptics try to educate people about 9/11, we provoke anxiety in our listeners since, unconsciously, we are reminding them of their own death. More defensive behaviors then ensue.

In addition, if our listeners view us as members of a minority group, they usually resist what we are saying — at least initially. If, on the other hand, they view us as members of the majority group, they are more likely to accept our information. In other words, people like to be on the winning side, or in the middle of the bell curve, as we saw in Part 6: Conformity.

As of this writing, skeptics of the official account of 9/11 are generally viewed as holding a minority opinion, but this need not remain the case. The good news is that research shows that information coming from a perceived minority group, although initially resisted, often exerts a hidden or delayed impact. When listeners hear dissenting views repeated, those views become more familiar. Thus, resistant individuals, when interviewed later, often show shifts in favor of the new information.1

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer intuitively understood this delayed impact when he wrote,


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Oriental Review

What CNN Isn’t Saying About Thailand’s “Hunger Games” Protest

Protesters from same mob that burned downtown theater to ground in 2010 barred from using nearby theater as protest venue. Movie is still playing nationwide. 

Image: What’s left of one of Apex’s theaters after the last time “protesters”
used it as a venue for their political agenda in 2010. The theater was entirely
destroyed. CNN and others fail to mention this fact, and instead portray the
protesters as being “repressed” rather than violent, divisive criminals
attempting to set the stage for more violence. 

November 22, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – CNN would lament in its article, “More held in military-led Thailand after flashing ‘Hunger Games’ salute,” that:

The central figure in “The Hunger Games,” the hit sci-fi series about an oppressed people’s struggle against a totalitarian regime, is being evoked for real, now, in Thailand among university students expressing their opposition to that southeast Asian nation’s military rulers.  

Several students, from Bangkok to about 450 kilometers (280 miles) away to the northeast, have been detained in recent days after flashing the signature anti-establishment, three-fingered salute from”The Hunger Games.”

CNN would also admit that the “opposition” consisted of “several students,” in fact, not even 10 nationwide, but before claiming inexplicably that, “there’s little indication the opposition is going away.” And perhaps CNN is right – if one considers what the “opposition” really is. If it is actual people in Thailand, there is obviously no opposition. If it is special interests upon Wall Street and in the City of London that hand CNN, the BBC, and other news organizations their talking points, then indeed, the opposition remains.

What CNN Won’t Say About the “Hunger Games” Protest 

CNN would also claim:

A “Hunger Games” fan club, which consists of university students calling for democracy in Thailand, had planned to meet for the latest film’s showing Thursday at one Bangkok theater. 

But the showing at that theater and three others that are part of the same Apex chain was canceled — for “technical” reasons, according to the chain.

However, these “students” are in fact supporters of ousted mass murderer, Wall Street proxy, and dictator Thaksin Shinawatra, Also known as “red shirts,” these supporters have been footsoldiers of Shinawatra’s political machine for years and at the center of some of the most violent incidents in recent Thai history. In 2009 Shinwatra’s red shirts would gun down two shopkeepers amid attempts to loot their storefronts during a Bangkok riot led by Shinawatra’s political party. The following year, Shinawatra would again stage street riots, this time including some 300 heavily armed professional mercenaries triggering violence that would leave nearly 100 dead, thousands injured, and the city in literal flames after his supporters carried out widespread arson.

Image: Apex, the company that owns two theaters it has barred students from protesting at, had a third theater burned to the ground in 2010 by members of this very same political movement. CNN, the BBC, and several other Western media outlets have attempted to portray the recent “crackdown” on these mobs as “repression,” conveniently leaving out their penchant for violence, intimidation, arson, and terrorism. 

One of the buildings burned to the ground by Thaksin Shinawatra’s red shirt supporters was Apex’s “Siam” theater.

Suddenly, with this fact in hand, CNN’s narrative about the government “repressing” the “students'” “free speech” is turned on its head. In reality, the government is stopping pro-terrorists who have already killed and maimed people, burned down buildings, and in general have committed themselves to a campaign of violence and intimidation, from once again building momentum leading to yet another costly street conflict. Apex, who barred these protesters from using their remaining theaters as a venue for their agenda, is rightfully concerned when one considers the fate of their “Siam” theater at this groups’ same hands.

Additionally, if CNN and other Western outlets truly believe these “students” have a right to disrupt ordinary people and stage venues at businesses they have literally burned to the ground in the past, surely they believe these businesses have a right to deny them use of their property for their venues. Likewise, students up north who were detained after interrupting the Thai Prime Minister’s speech seem to have lost the irony of complaining about their “free speech” being infringed upon while in the process of trying to silence their political opponents. 

That not even 10 disruptive supporters of an ousted terrorist regime can grab global headlines and confuse audiences worldwide regarding the truth behind their agenda is a testament to the corrosive and still spanning influence of the Western media – able to hide millions of protesters in Bangkok in the lead up to the coup that ousted Thaksin Shinawatra, and able to magnify less than 10 “protesters” into a growing “national opposition.” 

Land Destroyer

ASEAN Economic Community – Why, For What, and By Whom?

November 26, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – On TV, upon the magazine rack, in schools, and on billboards around the country, the coming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is being heralded everywhere across Southeast Asia. 

Upon ASEAN’s official website, the AEC is described as: 

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) shall be the goal of regional economic integration by 2015. AEC envisages the following key characteristics: (a) a single market and production base, (b) a highly competitive economic region, (c) a region of equitable economic development, and (d) a region fully integrated into the global economy.

The AEC is an unquestionable inevitability – and more alarmingly – an inevitability absolutely none of the many hundreds of millions of Southeast Asian citizens have asked for, voted for, or have any direct say in regards to. So inevitable is AEC’s unfurling in 2015, that few have even bothered to ask “why?” “for what?” and “by whom?”

A Cheap EU Knock-Off Destined for Catastrophic Failure  

If AEC’s premise as described by ASEAN itself sounds suspiciously similar to the European Union (EU), that’s because it is. It is not only driven by the same immense global spanning corporate-financier special interests that consolidated Europe’s economies, currencies, and institutions, but for the very same goal of collectively looting the region if and when it is successfully consolidated.

The EU now writhes in debt, endless proxy wars fought on behalf of Wall Street and London, and socioeconomic strife caused by EU regulations forced upon various populations against their will. While it was always difficult for citizens of respective European nations to have their voice truly represented within the halls of their own respective national governments, it is more difficult still for the EU’s ruling elite assembled in Brussels to be held accountable and made to actually work for the  European people. 

Instead, the EU serves the immense corporate-financier interests that cobbled this supranational consolidation together in the first place. The European people were not allowed to vote on entering into the EU, and those that did repeatedly voted against it until threats, economic extortion, and propaganda finally succeeded in overcoming resistance. In Southeast Asia, nothing of the sort has even been proposed, and most Southeast Asians are oblivious to what ASEAN and the AEC even represent. Like the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) incursion into Asia during the late 1990’s, it won’t be until catastrophic failure has already swallowed the whole of Southeast Asia that people begin to realize what has been foisted upon them. 

Already, many across Southeast Asia are being effected by bilateral free-trade agreements (FTAs) that allow local markets to be flooded by cheap foreign goods. Socioeconomic disparity, even across Southeast Asia and greater Asia itself can devastate communities and industries already just barely making do. Special interests driven to ink FTAs generally make no provisions to prepare local markets about to be devastated, and no provisions after FTAs take demonstrable tolls. FTAs inked by ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra with China, for example, devastated Thai farmers when cheaper Chinese produce flooded Thai markets. Some farmers including those who grew garlic, were driven almost entirely out of business.

The AEC will multiply this by creating similar conditions across all industries and between all of ASEAN’s members. Additionally, the AEC then seeks to integrate ASEAN into the greater “global economy,” or in other words, FTAs with the US and EU. Industries just emerging in each respective ASEAN member state will be utterly crushed, bought out, or overrun by foreign corporate-financier monopolies. For local tycoons laboring under the delusions that somehow there is a place around the “global elite’s” table for them, the current state of the EU should serve as a cautionary reminder that indeed, no there is not. 

Why, For What, and By Whom? 

In addition to buying out and monopolizing all that resides within Southeast Asia, Wall Street and London desire to use Southeast Asia as a bulwark against China’s rising power. These special interests may have even used the rise of China as a means to extort cooperation from respective ASEAN member states in the creation of the AEC.

Again, those ruling political orders across Southeast Asia need only look at NATO and how each member within that alleged “alliance” is strong-armed into one undesirable, highly destructive, and costly conflict after another – not only in direct opposition of each respective NATO member’s own population, but in opposition of international law and norms. 

An ASEAN AEC fleeced by the West and driven as a proxy into the maw of neighboring China would cost everyone – from the general population to the ruling elite of each of ASEAN’s respective member states – just as is seen across the EU. 

The dream of consolidating and exploiting Southeast Asia as a single geopolitical bloc against China is a long documented conspiracy the United States and its partners in the United Kingdom have worked on for decades. 

As early as the Vietnam War, with the so-called “Pentagon Papers” released in 1969, it was revealed that the conflict was simply one part of a greater strategy aimed at containing and controlling China.

Among many important quotes, is one that outlines the immense regional theater the US was engaged in against China at the time, stating: 

“there are three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China (realizing that the USSR “contains” China on the north and northwest): (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.” 

While the US would ultimately lose the Vietnam War and any chance of using the Vietnamese as a proxy force against Beijing, the long war against Beijing would continue elsewhere. The use of Southeast Asia as a consolidated front against China would continue on up to and including until today.

This containment strategy would be updated and detailed in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report “String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoralwhere it outlines China’s efforts to secure its oil lifeline from the Middle East to its shores in the South China Sea as well as means by which the US can maintain American hegemony throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The premise is that, should Western foreign policy fail to entice China into participating in Wall Street and London’s “international system” as responsible stakeholders, an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation. The use of nations in Southeast Asia to check China’s regional power plays chief among this posture. 

Other US policymakers have articulated the use of Southeast Asia as a proxy against China in more direct terms. Neo-Conservative, pro-war policymaker Robert Kagan in his 1997 piece titled “What China Knows That We Don’t: The Case for a New Strategy of Containment,” noted: 

Chinese leaders worry that they will “play Gulliver to Southeast Asia’s Lilliputians, with the United States supplying the rope and stakes.

Kagan would later serve as an adviser to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who would herself declare a campaign to do just that – supply Southeast Asia with “rope and stakes.” Called the “pivot to Asia,” Clinton would make a hegemonic declaration in Foreign Policy magazine titled, “America’s Pacific Century,” stating that: 

…the United States has moved to fully engage the region’s multilateral institutions, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, mindful that our work with regional institutions supplements and does not supplant our bilateral ties. There is a demand from the region that America play an active role in the agenda-setting of these institutions — and it is in our interests as well that they be effective and responsive.

Clinton’s reference to America playing “an active role in the agenda-setting of these institutions,” referring to ASEAN and APEC, and the rest of her very lengthy editorial reflect a nearly verbatim update of Kagan’s 1997 piece – if only stated a bit more diplomatically than Kagan’s very straight forward “containment of China” proposal. One must wonder how anyone could learn of America’s desire to set the agenda of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and not immediately identify overt aspirations of extraterritorial neo-imperialism.  

As part of this desire to set the agenda for Southeast Asia, the US has worked hard through its various NGOs to manipulate, influence, and outright overthrow the political orders in place across the region in order to install compliant regimes that reflect America’s goal of consolidating and commandeering theses nations both to wholesale loot them economically, and in pursuit of its containment strategy versus China. 

There’s a Reason the AEC is not up for Debate 

Clearly, if the AEC’s implementation is merely the consolidation and exploitation of the peoples and resources of Southeast Asia, the process of its implementation will neither be up for debate, nor put to a vote. While the United States and the many overly optimistic proponents of the AEC ceaselessly harp upon the tenants of “democracy” and “human rights,” these most basic concepts have been utterly absent in the creation of this new supranational bloc.  

The people of Southeast Asia did not ask for ASEAN nor the AEC. Much of what both represent are in fact openly opposed by many grassroots movements across the region – not to mention by many around the world. There is a reason the AEC is not up for debate and an endless torrent of full spectrum propaganda is undulating the media in efforts to market the AEC to the general public – no one would buy it otherwise. 

In a democratic society, the people are to vote and in return are to be represented by those they voted for. These representatives are to take the needs and desires of the people and turn them into local, national, and international policy. Instead, the AEC represents a conspiracy cobbled together by special interests and then dishonestly marketed toward the general public to accept. In other words, it represents democracy in reverse – it is the supposed representatives telling the people what they “want” rather than the people telling their representatives what to do. Democracy in reverse could also be defined as “dictatorship” – and in that regard, ASEAN and its AEC would not be a national dictatorship, but rather a supranational one magnifying the abuses and ramifications of such abuses accordingly.   

For this reason, whether one is a conservative nationalist or a liberal democrat, the idea of an AEC forced upon the people without their input, consent, or even expressed desire for such a system should be appalling and surely protested against. However, many must already know that such protests would be futile. But this futility itself only further exposes the unwarranted influence and power that truly drives the AEC’s undemocratic and intolerable implementation.

Instead, it will be up to groups within each respective ASEAN member, and up to each community within to expose, boycott, and replace with local alternatives both the national and multinational special interests involved. While such a campaign will be difficult, the only other choice is to do nothing and suffer the same indignation, socioeconomic decay, and perpetual war the EU now suffers. The people of Southeast Asia have many advantages including the advantage of time on their side to mitigate a repeat of the EU’s slow-motion collapse – but it is only an advantage if people begin acting now. 

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”. 

Land Destroyer

Ferguson and the False Promise of “Revolution”

November 26, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – When faced on the battlefield with a numerically superior enemy, one must attempt to divide his enemy into smaller, more easily dispatched opponents, or even more ideally, divide them against one another, and have them defeat each other without ever drawing your sword. For Wall Street’s 0.1%, divide and conquer is a way of life.

Divide and Conquer

Never in human history has there been a more effective way for tyrants to rule over large groups of people who, should they ever learn to cooperate, would easily throw off such tyranny.

At the conclusion of the Anglo-Zulu War, the British despoiled Zululand, divided it into 14 separate cheifdoms, each led by a proxy obedient to the British Empire. The British ensured that these 14 cheifdoms harbored animosities toward one another and fostered petty infighting between them to ensure British interests would never again be challenged by a unified Zulu threat. Before the British, the Romans would employ similar tactics across Germania and Gual.

Image: Zululand lies in flaming ruins, its legendary army decimated, but the British were not about to take any chances of allowing them to unite and resit again. They divided the defeated nation into 14 chiefdoms each headed by leaders harboring dislike for the others ensuring perpetual infighting and a divided, weakened Zululand never again to rise and challenge British subjugation. 
In this way, the British Empire and the Romans managed to not only decimate their enemies, but by keeping them perpetually infighting, divided, and at war with one another, manged to keep them subservient to imperial rule for generations.
But one would be mistaken to believe that imperialism is only waged abroad. Imperialism is as much about manipulating, controlling, and perpetuating subservience at home as it is projecting hegemony abroad. For the imperialist, all of humanity represents a sea of potential usurpers. The systematic division, weakening, and subjugation of various social groups along political, religious, class, or racial lines has proven an ageless solution for the elite. 
One remembers the infamous use of Christians as a scapegoat for the corruption of Roman Emperor Nero, deflecting public anger away from the ruling elite and unto others among the plebeians.

This is a game that has continued throughout the centuries and continues on to this very day. While racial, religious, and political divisions are aspects of human nature, they are viciously exploited by the ruling elite to divide and destroy any capacity of the general public to organize, resist, or compete with established sociopolitical and economic monopolies.

Ferguson – Playing America Like a Fiddle 

Before protests began breaking out in Ferguson, Missouri, and even after the first of the protests in August, many across America’s polarized “left/right” paradigm began to find a common ground, shocked at the level of militarization the police had undergone and the heavy-handed response they exercised amid protests. Even among the generally pro-police and military “right,” there was concern over what was finally recognized as a growing and quite menacing “police state” in America.

Politicians, the corporate media, and security agencies set off to work, dividing America’s public down very predictable lines. Convenient “revelations” that the police were connected with the ultra-racist Ku Klux Klan, coupled with growing choruses across the right to circle the wagons in support of the militarized police attempted to place those who converged on this common ground back into their assigned places on the “right” and “left” of America’s ultimately Wall Street-controlled political order.

Regardless of its success, attempts to intentionally provoke violence, confusion, and division on both sides is an attempt by the establishment to keep people divided and weak while maintaining their position of primacy over the country and the expansive “international order” it imposes globally. It was this establishment, in fact, that intentionally militarized the police, intentionally cultivates both institutional racism as well as sociopolitical and economic rot in America’s inner cities, creating breeding grounds of violence and crime. So busy is America managing the predictable conflict amongst themselves, they have neither the time nor the energy to recognize their true tormentors. 

In reality, the police and protesters and those across America and around the world “picking sides” have more in common with one another than the government and corporate-financier interests that reign in Washington and on Wall Street.

Get Off the Hamster Wheel 

One cannot accomplish anything by burning down one’s own community, killing one another, or complaining and protesting endlessly. Real revolution is not taking to the streets and destroying a political order, it is creating a new order that displaces the old. 
The American Revolution, for instance, occurred after the colonies established their own economic system, as well as their own militias, political networks, and infrastructure. The violence broke out only after the British tried to reassert themselves amid the steady process of being displaced. By the time shots were being fired, the real revolution had already occurred – the subsequent war was to defend its success.  
Today, the establishment constitutes unchecked, unwarranted power and influence held by the corporate-financier elite – an establishment we are in fact paying into daily every time we patronize their businesses, use their services, associate with their institutions, and pay in attention and time to their propaganda and political agenda we ourselves should be setting and executing. Ironically many of both the police and protesters clashing in Ferguson on opposite sides of the “conflict” have homes full of Wall Street’s goods, and subscriptions to many of their services. 
Indeed, Walmart ends up filling our homes with most of the consumer products we depend on in America. A handful of agricultural giants feed us. A handful of pharmaceutical giants medicate us. A handful of energy monopolies light our homes and fuel our vehicles. You could fill a single sheet of paper with the names of corporate-financier interests that rule over nearly every aspect of our lives.

Such monopolies exist because they have extinguished competitors. Ensuring that competition remains extinguished means creating a society that is incapable of producing individuals or paradigms capable of challenging their established order. This includes sabotaging the education system, creating a socioeconomic system that encourages unsustainable dependence rather than self-sufficiency and independence, and rigging rules, regulations, and laws against any potential upstarts.

The notion of Ferguson protesters demanding justice from a system created of injustice, upon injustice, is as absurd as trying to squeeze apple juice from a lemon. It is the definition of fantastical futility. 

Instead of demanding justice, jobs, education, healthcare, food, and other necessities and desires from a system with no intention of ever empowering the people – a system that in order to continue perpetuating itself must by necessity never truly empower the people – we must begin working together locally to empower ourselves.

Power stems from infrastructure and institutions – and locally this can be accomplished in innumerable ways. Already farmers’ markets, organic cooperatives, makerspaces, churches, community centers, community gardens, and charities along with innovative small businesses leveraging technology to do locally what once required global spanning industry to accomplish, all constitute the seeds of this shifting paradigm. For communities unlucky enough not to have one of these above institutions, or a lack of them, instead of baying for blood in the streets, burning building down, or clashing with police, build them. 

The alternative media itself is proof of what power people have when they stop depending on others, stop demanding others to do their jobs properly, and instead take up the responsibility themselves. Expanding this paradigm shift to other aspects of our daily lives, from agriculture to energy, to education, will be key to true and enduring change.

Ferguson teaches us that real change in the mind of many is still far off. America isn’t on the edge of revolution. A hamster wheel endlessly spinning has no “edge.” Those picking sides and bickering over the events in Ferguson are playing into an elementary strategy of divide and conquer. We are divided, Wall Street has conquered.

At the end of it all, Wall Street comes out even stronger. Because in the smoking remnants of our communities after all is said and done, we have even less with which to build an alternative to the system we live trapped within. Divided, we have half the people we should be joining together with, collaborating and building together with, to build the world we want to live in tomorrow.

Build, don’t burn. Collaborate, don’t complain. Don’t simply “resist” the system, replace it altogether.

Land Destroyer

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Oriental Review