The BBC’s ‘Conspiracy Files’
By Paul Holme | Online Journal | Jan 12, 2010
At 16:15 local time Hong Kong and the Philippines, on Saturday, 9 Jan., the BBC World News service broadcast “The Conspiracy Files,” concerning lingering suspicions about 9/11 — specifically the anomalous, sudden, and complete collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by a plane.
This documentary was, as you might expect, as complete a snow job as the weather presently smothering the UK.
It left me with two lasting impressions:
1. That the relatively unprepared viewer — such as I would take the majority to be — would accept its conclusions as ‘the truth.’ The BBC, like CNN and I suppose Fox News, is the modern-day equivalent of the Bible for many who watch it regularly. It is their Authority, an esteemed organ of “objective” reporting, and so they approach it with their critical defenses down — especially in matters where they can’t claim expertise, and the more so when the BBC solemnly quotes such other purveyors of mainstream truth as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (whose graphic simulation of a beam buckling in Building 7 was deemed sufficient to convince us that every real beam and column gave way likewise, and simultaneously).
2. That it is — and has always been — the inevitable, primary function of the mainstream news outlets to create consensus, rather than division, around a core set of values that have evolved over the years, and which represent the status quo. You can’t broadcast everything, so from the start there’s inevitably a massive selection process. What guides the selection process? “Objectivity”? The very nature of the task logically excludes that possibility! What we actually end up seeing and hearing equally inevitably dominates our thinking. How can you think about what never reaches your senses? You can’t. And thus the status quo rolls effortlessly on.
Those of us who find ourselves uncomfortably outside the mainstream on the 9/11 issue believe that we see things “more objectively,” because, from our different perspective, we are acutely aware of the cherry-picking of “facts” that goes on in support of the Official Version. This cherry-picking is (for the most part) an entirely unconscious selection process. What we are probably less aware of is that we cherry-pick our “facts” too, and this selection is as glaring to the gatekeepers of acceptable knowledge as theirs is to us.
What this in turn betrays is our near-universal misunderstanding of what “facts” are and how we arrive at them. It is not that one group is more “objective” than another. That’s prideful, self-serving nonsense. We do not plug into an objective world that some see and others (for some reason) do not. It simply doesn’t work like that. Each person creates (as he must) his own reality from sensory data which he alone experiences, and then — with more or less vigor and conviction, and with whatever tools are currently fashionable — sets about convincing others to his point of view. This social component of reality is inescapable. Without it we would be living in something like the tower of Babel. Communication would not exist, and neither would society.
Insofar as humans are social beings, truth is a popularity contest (and, yes guys, we are social beings!). This conclusion seems like an outright denial of supposed scientific objectivity; but that is actually the way it is, and there’s no escaping it.
Thus it is that islands of popularity grow, like bacteria in a petri dish, around attractive beliefs, while those which cannot sustain interest wither and die. That, in a nutshell, is what the “factual” world is all about, always has been, and always will be. Facts are not hard and fast things “out there.” Facts are agreements, and like all agreements they can change.
In the BBC’s “The Conspiracy Files” architect Richard Gage, the founder and chief spokesman of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, asserts that the smoke observed on the south side of Building 7 before its sudden collapse was probably sucked there from Buildings 5 and 6. This theory of his is challenged by video evidence of fires burning on the same side, and other experts insisting that fires such as these could have “spread” and “engulfed” the building, destroying the integrity of the structural steel, and leading to “global collapse.”
The combined psychological force of the BBC, and the video footage, and the experts, and the even, reasonable tone of the commentator all pitted against bald Mr. Gage expostulating in his little office, is overwhelming. The unsurprising conclusion is reached by the Beeb that Building 7 collapsed without explosive assistance, as advertised. The gatekeepers are delighted, their worldview is vindicated, the enemy is brought low, and the status quo lumbers on, unshaken.
Facts? The merest suggestion of them is all that’s needed for those in authority (whatever authority that may be) to secure the hearts and minds of the faithful. “The Conspiracy Files” is the necessary force of social cohesion at work, operating through one of the organs which have evolved for this purpose. Strength resides in numbers. Might is right. To turn the tide requires tremendous perseverance, and the constant reintroduction of evidence which refutes the official version of events. This is subversion, and must be undertaken, of course, without the slightest help from where it counts — the mainstream media.
My own view (for what it’s worth) disagrees with that of Mr. Gage, as his naturally does with others. It is that it’s perfectly possible for the south face of Building 7 to have been blanketed in smoke without our jumping to the conclusion either that the smoke all came from elsewhere (Building 7 was on fire!), or that the six or seven windows (out of hundreds) on one floor (out of 47) at which fire could be seen were evidence that the building was about to collapse straight down at freefall speed into its own footprint. In fact this last assertion, seized on by the BBC and its chosen experts alike, strikes me as equally absurd after watching “The Conspiracy Files” as it did before. But then the BBC World News is not my authority, so I am free to question its selection of facts in a way which a gatekeeper to the official version is not.
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