Cognitive Infiltration of the 9/11 Truth Movement: A Review by Adam Syed

Adam Syed's picture

This is the review I've just submitted to of DRG's new book "Cognitive Infiltration." It isn't immediately showing up even though in the past I have submitted reviews that went public instantly. Anyway, here it is:


This work by David Ray Griffin is an engaging and captivating read, my personal favorite since "Debunking 9/11 Debunking," which was such a joy to read as I watched Popular Mechanics become exposed as the propagandists they really are when it comes to this issue.

A member of President Obama's cabinet, Cass Sunstein, in 2008 wrote an essay in which he purportedly made the case in favor of having a program in which government agents, mostly anonymous bloggers, would "infiltrate" "conspiracy groups" in an attempt to muddy the groups' research, in addition to derailing their unity, activism and overall effectiveness. The "conspiracy theorists" to which he most often refers are the members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, the growing number of world citizens who realize that the official account of 9/11 is false.

One serious problem with Sunstein's proposal is that it is Constitutionally illegal, a gross violation of the First Amendment. However, Sunstein's essay suffers from many other shortcomings as well.

To understand the significance (including the wit and irony) of Griffin's analysis, one first needs to understand that the term "conspiracy theory/ists" is virtually always used in a one-sided manner, usually as a pejorative term to dismiss instantly any person who questions the orthodox historical narrative of a major event. However, the true objective definition of conspiracy theory is simply this: a theory of who committed a conspiracy. A conspiracy is when two or more people agree in secret to perform an illegal and/or immoral act. When understood objectively, we can understand that the Bush Administration's official story is itself a "conspiracy theory," namely a theory in which Osama bin Laden and 19 al Qaeda hijackers conspired to attack America with the motive that they hate our freedoms (or in an alternative interpretation still consistent with the official account, that the attacks were "blowback" for decades of cruel US foreign policy in the Middle East).

Dr. Griffin's subtitle to this book is: "An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory." The question is, which conspiracy theory is Sunstein trying to undermine? The Bush Administration's official theory? Or the 9/11 Truth Movement's theory, the "inside job" theory?

One of the hallmark traits of "disinformation" is to accuse others of what you yourself are guilty. In "Debunking 9/11 Debunking," Griffin showed the deplorable depths to which the journalistic ethics of the Popular Mechanics senior editors had sunk in their hollow attempt to defend the official theory. Not only did the PM editors accuse "9/11 conspiracy theorists" of basically being unstable mental nut jobs who believe what they want to believe and disregard any information that doesn't fit their views, but the PM editors, all throughout their book, were guilty of these very sins themselves, as DRG so thoroughly illuminated!

Cass Sunstein's paper tries to put the "mental nut jobs who believe what they want to believe and disregard any information that doesn't fit their views" portrayal of 9/11 Truth activists into lofty academic-speak. He doesn't claim that 9/11 truthers are "mental nut jobs," just that we suffer from "crippled epistemologies" and "informational isolationism." However, as Griffin shows, it is the people who believe the official 9/11 conspiracy theory who actually suffer from this informational isolationism; most of these people only rely on the corporate mass media for their world view. Also, the website lists over 400 professors, some of whom, Griffin notes, have taught at institutions in the same league as Sunstein's own (Harvard and University of Chicago). "Could Sunstein with a straight face tell these professors that the reason they disagree with him about 9/11 is because they have been 'informationally isolated?'" Griffin rhetorically asks. He goes on to list a veritable gold mine of names of people in the relevant professions of architecture, engineering, piloting, intelligence officers, journalists, political leaders and more, who have gone on the record to reject the official 9/11 conspiracy theory.

So the "exoteric" (surface) interpretation of Sunstein's essay is that Sunstein wants his agents to undermine the 9/11 truth movement's conspiracy theory. The "esoteric" (deeper) interpretation of Sunstein's essay is that Sunstein knows that it's the official conspiracy that holds no water and needs to be undermined. Might the best way to gradually introduce the public to the truth of 9/11 be to let truths slip out gradually over much time, so that it's not TOO much of a shock to the American people once the truth finally gets out? Damage control, in other words, so that when the public finds out en masse, they will simply accept it, as opposed to actually rising up and demanding serious change?

One reason that Griffin is tempted to take this esoteric interpretation is because he knows that Sunstein, being a graduate of Harvard among other places, is not a dim bulb. He has to be a very smart man, and must PRIVATELY KNOW that the official 9/11 theory is without merit. Griffin points out that Sunstein leaves many "clues" to the fact that he knows the Truth Movement is on the right track by way of the footnotes he provides in his essay. If a person is thorough and follows up, going to Sunstein's sources for which he cites one quote, one will find that the very source itself completely contradicts the very claim Sunstein makes!

It is interesting that Sunstein writes about his plan to "cognitively infiltrate" the truth movement in the future tense, as if such a thing hasn't been happening with groups going back to at least the JFK Assassination (and indeed Sunstein himself goes on to acknowledge the existence of COINTELPRO). It has definitely been happening for years in the 9/11 movement. For one thing, there is the Popular Mechanics literature and the sites like ScrewLooseChange and 911myths, which claim to oppose the truth movement in its entirety. Indeed, Griffin sharply points out that in a preliminary draft of his paper, Sunstein included a reference to Popular Mechanics, which he deleted for his final draft. Sunstein's original words were: "One may see the game [of neutralizing the 9/11 movement] as involving four players: government officials, conspiracy theorists, mass audiences, and independent experts --- such as mainstream scientists or the editors of Popular Mechanics --- whom government attempts to enlist to give credibility to its rebuttal efforts." In the final version, the words "or the editors of Popular Mechanics" have been deleted, presumably because Sunstein realized that he had accidentally revealed that the government had "enlisted" the PM editors to wear the mask of "independent experts." Great catch, Dr. Griffin, or should that be "great cache?"

Then there are also the people who I suspect of being gatekeepers within the truth movement, pretending to be activists but whose real goal is to stem the tide against certain damning evidence more quickly getting accepted more widely. These people blend their way into the 9/11 truth community and earn its respect by posting lots of genuinely good material on the World Trade Center collapse. But then they expend their "credibility capital" by staunchly defending the official line on many other aspects of the official theory, particularly to do with the dubious phone calls from the planes, the existence of "real" Islamic hijackers, Israeli involvement, and of course, the biggie: what really happened at the Pentagon.

Now on that last point, let me relate my own thoughts on observations and experiences I've had within the 9/11 Truth Movement over the past year and how they tie in with Dr. Griffin's work.

Within the truth movement blogosphere, there's been some extremely damning evidence, proving an inside job, that's been the target of much maligning among supposed truth activists. Readers of this review should watch the presentation "National Security Alert," by Citizen Investigation Team (CIT), link provided at the end of this review. Basically, the official story claims that Flight 77 knocked down five light poles before crashing at an angle into the west wing of the Pentagon. However, the downed light poles all follow a flight trajectory that must be SOUTH of the CITGO gas station at all times (see image):

However, when you watch NSA, you will see and hear witness after witness after witness (times thirteen) interviewed, most of whom are standing where they were on 9/11. Without exception, each witness puts the plane NORTH of the Citgo gas station, which is absolutely irreconcilable with the evidence. It is indeed the simplest smoking gun of 9/11 proving a staged deception: plane north of gas station = inside job, staged light poles, pre-planted explosives in the Pentagon, and a flyover of a remote-controlled jet to produce the illusion that AA77 crashed there. (Though if you watch NSA you will indeed find two people who saw the plane flying away. These people still reconciled what they saw with the official story by convincing themselves they'd seen a *second* plane, when in reality it could ONLY be the original PentaPlane which the observers to the approach place on the North of Citgo path.) is the truth movement's most heavily visited 9/11-only site (no discussion of chemtrails, forced vaccinations, global warming hoax, etc.). As it is a highly visible site, common logic dictates that it would be one of the prime targets of Sunstein-style cognitive infiltration. One of the content moderators goes by "loose nuke." He is one of the individuals responsible for disseminating the "work" of those alleged truthers who claim to "debunk" the CIT evidence, and at the time when he banned myself and at least three other commenters at the site from posting any more, we had been backing him into a corner and pointing out some glaringly serious errors with the blog he was promoting, entitled "The South Path Impact: Documented, by Adam Larson" (google it). This blog tries to make the spurious, Popular Mechanics -style claim that the thirteen North of Citgo eyewitnesses (who were confirmed and corroborated first hand by CIT) are somehow outnumbered by "dozens" of "South of Citgo impact witnesses," the implication being that all of the North Path witnesses are either lying or somehow all mistaken in the exact same way. What Larson offers up are nothing more than snippets of third hand, printed media quotes, virtually all of which don't mention the gas station at all, just that the witnesses saw an "impact." (Of course, even the NORTH path witnesses BELIEVE the plane hit; it was a military deception intended to fool, just like the demolition of the WTC and how most of us were fooled into believing the planes and fires were responsible. But when a witness provides mutually exclusive claims [north path, impact] a true skeptic must choose which claim is correct. And the NoC witnesses corroborate each other over and over, proving they were deceived about the impact.)

Tying Adam Larson's "South Path Impact Documented" essay in with Griffin's current book: as Griffin says, the esoteric interpretation of Sunstein's essay is reached if a person actually bothers to check the footnotes and the claims (or if the person is already a well versed 9/11 researcher), rather than take the author on faith. And as we know, the esoteric interpretation is that Sunstein knows the official conspiracy theory is false. LIKEWISE: if a person bothers to check the claims made in Larson's blog, one comes across some "errors" that are SO serious that in a few cases they can only be interpreted as deliberate. They are SO glaring that one can't help but wonder if "loose nuke" promotes this material on the ONE hand because he's perhaps receiving a check from someone higher up, his assignment being to muddy the waters, but on the OTHER hand, knows that if a person does the digging themselves, will realize that the "arguments" defending the South of Citgo flight path are, to quote Barrie Zwicker, "tricky and unreliable, in fact, as flimsy as the official story they try and defend."

This review is getting long so in the interests of space, I will cite what I consider to be the most blatant deception in Larson's blog: Larson listed a particular person as a "light pole witness," meaning that the person watched the plane hit the light poles on the South of Citgo path. Upon actually doing some simple checking, however, it turns out that this "witness" was IN NORTH CAROLINA and arrived in Arlington in the afternoon, and happened to see the downed light poles! Yet he was cited as a flight path witness to support the official flight path!!! This was one of MANY such deceptions in the blog.

I will say of "loose nuke" what Griffin says of Sunstein: "Loose nuke" can not possibly be this stupid or incompetent, even though we don't know his academic pedigree. The proof is that he's written some good essays on the WTC collapse. Not being stupid, he must know that those supporting the official damage path at the Pentagon being caused by AA77 don't have a leg to stand on, and like Sunstein, he leaves (not-so-)subtle clues for those that have the time and energy to check.

Well Dr. Griffin, given what I've seen and experienced in the truth movement this past year or so, this is an extremely timely work indeed! Bravo, once again! The truth movement thanks you!

Link to the presentation National Security Alert (NSA) by Citizen Investigation Team (CIT):

-Adam Syed

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Annoymouse's picture


Good review, Adam.
There seems to be a fairly robust whispering campaign against CIT. Two separate people in a recent conversation commented that CIT was "controversial", as though that very word said something meaningful about their research or their methods.

My own opinion is that people who foster such criticism should be placed on a suspect list and disregarded by the movement until such time as they produce factual support for their "dark whisperings". We are, after all, an evidence-driven movement.

Thanks for the comments. I would try to post the review again on Amazon. Can't hurt.

Adam Syed's picture

It's up at Amazon now...

I had to edit it though, to get around their anti-HTML filter for the links.