American Buddhist Net News
ABN: Kevin, you have been a central figure in the 9/11 truth movement. What have you learned from that experience?
KR: The struggle for 9/11 truth has gone on now for over seven years, although I’ve been involved only since 2003. In that time I’ve learned a good deal about history and social inertia, and I’ve made some progress in my communications skills. Many people might think that speaking out publicly, against the wishes of authority like I did, risking one’s career and public standing, can only be harmful to a person. But I’ve found that by showing that I was genuinely seeking a positive outcome, the opportunity to make such a sacrifice became a blessing. There were changes, of course, including a new job and moving to a new town, and a huge amount of work with my new “unpaid job”, but it has been worth it. This is in part due to the fact that I’ve learned that there are many people in the world who feel as I do, that the events of 9/11 were paradoxically something of a gift to mankind. We don’t all agree on the details, but in my view, 9/11 is a wake-up call that can be used for the purpose of realizing our own limitations, and thereby making adjustments to how we live and interact with each other, and how we prioritize the education of our children. Once we tap into this ongoing “inside job”, we will have the power to make lasting positive change in our society.
ABN: Can you say more about what you mean by 9/11 being “something of a gift”? Do you mean that it has woken many people up to deeper levels of American political reality or something else?
KR: Yes, your point is correct but it is more than that. It’s hard to see the positive in 9/11, and it became more difficult for me as I learned that the official story was not only false but that it was absurd, and that we had been deceived en masse. At first I subconsciously accepted the idea of “blowback” – that there were people who were so angry with us that they would do these incredibly violent things to make that anger known. It didn’t occur to me that the terrorists just happened to live on the most strategically important lands in the world, and that overcoming our trillion dollar defenses would require much more than a few box cutters. But when I saw what happened as a result of 9/11, in the name of 9/11, the falsity of the official story and the need to investigate became more obvious. The reason 9/11 can be considered a gift is that so many people have been deceived for so long about what happened. This fact allows us to realize how such deception occurs, how the resulting self-deception can deeply affect our lives, and how it can go on for so long. So 9/11 has awoken us to deeper levels of political reality – deep politics as Peter Dale Scott says – but more importantly it can awaken us to awareness of our own deep psychology.
ABN: Some people say that 9/11 has led to a sort of “cold civil war” between those who support the official theory and those who do not. On the surface, it is hard to see why this should be so since both sides ought to be able to agree to do the obvious–undertake a new investigation and settle the matter once and for all. Of course, that is not how things are playing out. Mainstream news consistently ignores all the important questions, while many professional “skeptics” engage in some fairly vicious name-calling against those of us who want to have a new investigation. How do you see this social division playing out over the next year or two? Will this “cold civil war” become more serious or will it be forgotten?
KR: In my experience, there has not been much of a discussion between those who support the official story and those who do not. My colleagues and I have tried to get the official investigators to meet with us for discussion or debate, but with little success. My local group did meet with Lee Hamilton last year, since he was the congressman from our area and still keeps an office here in Bloomington. He gave us many excuses for why his 9/11 Commission report was not adequate, and has stated in his book that he felt he was set up to fail (see the revealing interview here http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/911hamilton.html). Mr. Hamilton also told us that he was not opposed to a new investigation, as long as it was not intended to simply find fault with his investigation. We have since invited him to several events but he has not agreed to join us in public. With the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Commerce department agency that Underwriters Laboratories fired me for criticizing, the invitations we’ve made have been rejected in every case. Readers can find a basic outline of the discussion we would like to have with NIST in our paper “Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Reports on the Destruction of the World Trade Center” (see the Open Civil Engineering Journal). But frankly, we’ve found that the only people who support the official story are those who created it, like NIST and Hamilton. Others have worked hard to put down any questions and to oppose any new hypotheses, but that doesn’t mean they support the official story. Most people don’t know much about the official story. That includes those who you call professional skeptics, and the mainstream media. The former group are often anonymous, or have no background of any kind, and spend a great deal of time and energy putting us down in blog entries or chat rooms where, as you said, they get pretty vicious. Unfortunately, I don’t expect that kind of thing to stop anytime soon. In a way, such attacks can be seen as a useful indication that we are on the right track. There is much at stake, and I never expected that this would be easy. As for the mainstream media, we will just have to wait and see. I think that, as time goes on, people are more convinced that their own self-interest, no matter who they are, is entwined with the need for a more truthful society.
ABN: NIST released its final report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building No. 7 (WTC 7) in August 2008 followed by a very weak revision of that report in November. There are two things I want to ask you about this report. First, it seems to me that the release of the report was timed to coincide with the end of the Bush administration. This will allow Obama to bury further investigation into 9/11 by saying that the NIST report was good enough for him, time to move on, etc. Second, the report itself is stunning in that NIST has admitted that WTC 7 fell at freefall for over 2 seconds, while at the same time providing little or no evidence for their theory of why the building collapsed. Can you give us your views on both the timing of the report and its quality as a scientific document?
KR: The timing of NIST’s WTC 7 report appeared to be scheduled for dual political purposes, to coincide with the sixth anniversary of 9/11 and to give the appearance of finished business at the end of the Bush Administration. That is not surprising, as the timing of NIST’s other reports coincided with political events as well. The draft report on the towers in October 2004 – just before the election, the final report on the towers – just before the fourth anniversary of 9/11, and NIST’s first “responses to FAQs” – just before the fifth anniversary, all appeared to involve politically motivated release dates. In each case, the dates allowed time for mainstream media articles to quickly present the official story while public interest was high, but did not allow time for critical questioning of the related documents, which were extensive and deceptive. With the WTC 7 report, the public was given just three weeks to comment on a report that was nearly seven years in the making. As for the quality of the report, I was really surprised at how weak it was. It seemed that NIST didn’t even try to present a logical explanation for what happened, but simply relied on certain fawning media to help them close the discussion quickly and without thought. With some effort, I was able to get a response out on the sixth anniversary. In that essay (found here: http://911review.com/articles/ryan/NIST_WTC7.html), I pointed out that the WTC 7 report “contradicts the previous major claims by NIST, ignores the most important of the existing evidence, [and] produces no scientific test results to support itself.” In other words, there is no science involved in the WTC 7 report from NIST, it is pure and quite transparent deception. In the future, people will learn a great deal from it, in terms of our present culture and the extent of our ability to deceive.
ABN: Kevin, in your paper /The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nano-Thermites /(http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/Ryan_NIST_and_Nano-1.pdf) you say “…despite a number of variations in NIST’s story, it never considered explosives or pyrotechnic materials in any of its hypotheses. This omission is at odds with several other striking facts; first, the requirement of the national standard for fire investigation (NFPA 921), which calls for testing related to thermite and other pyrotechnics, and second, the extensive experience NIST investigators have with explosive and thermite materials.” Since publication of this paper in July 2008, what kind of feedback have you received on it? Have you changed any of your views since that time?
KR: In that paper, I began to look at the kinds of explosives that we are seeing in the WTC dust and how the related technologies are connected to the people who were involved in the NIST investigation. It turns out that there are quite a few surprising connections. These explosive materials are called nanothermites, energetic nanocomposites, and other names, and there are many ways of synthesizing them. I’ve made a few kinds myself, and compared them visually (and chemically) to the red-orange chips that scientists including myself have found in many WTC dust samples. You can view a slideshow here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/32512879@N05/sets/72157611572140729/. An important property of such explosive materials is that they can be applied by spraying or dip-coating onto the intended surfaces as opposed to the bulk packaging that people often imagine with explosives. The paper points out that several technologies were likely used in the deceptive demolition of the WTC buildings, and there are good reasons why nanothermites were almost certainly part of the operation. As for the people, I’ve written about such connections before, in terms of the pre-NIST stories and the contractors NIST used (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=RYA20070…). It is truly amazing how many people with professional experience, or expertise, in explosives were employed in these investigations. Considering that none of the official stories ever had anything to do with explosives, the amazement quickly becomes disbelief.
ABN: It truly is amazing. As far as I know, we can also add to this mix the fact that NIST has not released to the public the computer models upon which it based its explanation of the collapse of WTC 7. Is that still the case? Have they still not released their computer models? Is there any precedent in any legitimate scientific research anywhere for a conclusion to be reached but the very ordinary (no national security here) process of reaching that conclusion is kept secret?
KR: No, NIST has not released the computer models. NIST has also not released the thousands of photo and video images that it collected, at taxpayer expense, during the investigation. Several FOIAs have been submitted to gain access to those documents but in the cases that I’ve seen, NIST has not complied, but instead asked for a search fee of approximately $20,000. Appeals have been made on some of these FOIAs and the work goes on, with Americans trying to get access to the basic information that NIST used to arrive at it’s (ever-changing) conclusions. I’m not aware of another such precedent, at least in our country during my lifetime.
ABN: Have you ever wondered if we are living in a video game? We have an official government body producing a supposedly well-researched report on one of the most important events in modern US history, but they refuse to let anyone see the computer models on which their conclusions are based. That fact alone should force all rational people to demand a new investigation into 9/11 immediately. Generally speaking, there are several groups that either oppose a new investigation into 9/11 or remain deafeningly silent on the issue. The most important one is the government itself–government agencies, members of Congress, the president. Another very important group is, obviously, mainstream media–TV, newspapers, radio, magazines. A third group is scientists. Before we discuss the silence of the government and the media, would you share your thoughts on why more professional scientists have not publicly stated that the official story of 9/11 is not supported by good science? I realize that there are now hundreds of architects and engineers who have signed the AE9/11Truth petition calling for a new investigation, but it seems there should be even more. I understand professional courtesy, fear of job loss, and the “wisdom” of staying out of politics, but scientists are people too and, like the rest of us, they have personal honor, a commitment to truth, concern for the nation. Why have more not come forward? Especially now with this latest “final” report from NIST, why are we not hearing more strong voices loud-and-clear from the American scientific community?
KR: There are many scientists who are openly supportive of the call for more transparency, and who acknowledge that science conducted by the Bush Administration (i.e. NIST) was a farce. As I pointed out in my presentation of June 2006, in Chicago, “Bush Science” has been publicly denounced by tens of thousands of scientists, and the NIST WTC investigation was Bush Science. There are also many scientists who support the call for a new 9/11 investigation, and it seems clear that there are now more in this category than there are scientists who support the official versions of what happened that day (see AE911truth.org, STJ911truth.org, patriotsquestion911.com and so on). But your question is valid. Why do we not have widespread and open outrage at the falsity of the official reports, particularly with regard to NIST and WTC? This is partly due to the fact that most scientists get their information about public events from the mainstream media, which has failed us so miserably. Another important factor is that the funding for science is controlled by the federal government. Universities cannot survive without federal grants, which amount to tens of millions of dollars each year for an average university, and research scientists cannot survive without grant money that comes from the government or from major corporations. Here’s an example. I spoke twice at the University of Michigan in the last few years. The last time I was there, we invited every member of the schools of science and engineering to come and discuss or debate the issues of 9/11. The only responses we got were from professors who said that they agreed with us but could not speak out for fear of losing their funding. The final reason is that scientists are people, just like you and I, who are as easily fooled by ego-based deception as any other people, and perhaps more so in some cases. Being right is vitally important to professional scientists, and the status quo is important also. I think it is not easy for some scientists in the US to accept that average citizens in our country could have noticed such extreme deception before they did. In other words, as a psychologist friend once told me, people like to be right, they like to be liked, and they like to be free, in that order.
ABN: I don’t know if this interests you or not, but the way that “science” has responded to 9/11 is a very good example of the way science often actually works in the real world. It is frequently not objective, not based on evidence, and not rational. With 9/11, we can see this in both the NIST report and in the silence of so many American scientists. Another good present-day example is medical science, especially the Big Pharma-funded “science” behind some very shabby psychotropic drug research and marketing. Those are some bad examples. A good example of how science can be driven by emotion, political or ideological commitment, or a sense of personal ethics is you. Can you give us some insight into why you have decided to take so many risks to pursue the science of 9/11? Were you raised with a strong sense of ethics or strong religious beliefs? It may not seem like much to you, but I think it would be most instructive for others to understand why you have given so much time and effort to this as-yet thankless task. What are your core motives? How do you deal emotionally with the negativity of mainstream America concerning a real discussion of 9/11?
KR: Science is a way of learning, and a pursuit of truth primarily used for prediction, although some do it for the sake of its beauty alone. Unfortunately, in today’s culture it has become confused with technology, or the application of scientific findings. To complicate matters, science is often misused by corporations and governments to support short-sighted financial or policy goals. Much of this has to do with presenting the appearance of good science, when obligatory studies and expert opinions are needed to promote what is going to be promoted anyway, like the next drug in the pipeline. People who are not comfortable with science or technology can be easily fooled by images of scientists in lab coats, scientific sounding language, or mathematical formulae. NIST became expert at such things during its WTC investigation. In a way, the science of manipulation has become far more advanced than other sciences. As for me, I’m kind of an idealist in that I feel that real science can be life supporting, and along with other fine human endeavors, science can help us survive in the long term. It’s clear to me that deception and manipulation are fatal for the deceiver as well as the deceived. As time goes on, we are learning that we’ll only survive as a species if we live more truthfully. How did I reach this understanding personally? I’m not sure. I was raised in a large Irish Catholic family. They were open minded and tolerant. When I was still relatively young I experienced some terrible emotional pain through the tragic loss of several close family members. It could be that I’m better able to keep the negativity in perspective because of that experience. But I’ve also had trouble, as many have. There is a book by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche called The Myth of Freedom, in which he describes how to work with negativity. He says that dwelling on negativity is not good, especially “negative negativity”, or that which self-justifies and is used to avoid pain. But he also says that basic honest negativity “can be creative in community as well as in personal relationships.” With the issue of 9/11 we see both of these. We see many people working hard to ignore the truth in order to avoid pain and as a result becoming more and more negative toward “conspiracy theorists.” We also see those who are willing to work honestly with the negativity and the truth of 9/11 in order to bring about lasting positive change.
ABN: Do you think it would be effective for people who want a new investigation into 9/11 to focus more of their energy on getting professional scientists to speak up? Rather than spend more time trying to break into mainstream media or getting a politician or two to say something reasonable, might it not be a better idea to focus on scientific groups and organizations? Earlier you mentioned scientists who are afraid to talk about 9/11 because they are dependent on government funding. Might that dependency not also work the other way around? That is, they take money from taxpayers (“the government”) and so they owe it to the public to tell the truth? Maybe all they need is to have someone ask them to live up to their training. Many people are like that. They won’t say anything on their own, but if you ask them, they will not lie. Would it be a good use of energy to approach university science departments or national groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists?
KR: Yes, I do think that would be effective. We are still very much a society that appeals to authority rather than thinking for ourselves. We’ve been trained to do that I think, through media and pop culture. That’s why groups like Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, and AE911Truth, have been so effective. People want experts to tell them that it’s OK to say that the official story of 9/11 is untrue, despite the fact that anyone who spends a little time investigating the issues can see that fact for themselves. What we as truth seekers could do better, before reaching out to more scientists or other people, is explain how the false story of 9/11 has impacted us all personally. We need to reach people through enlightened self-interest. It has been the “war on terror” that has driven the US into bankruptcy and done so much other damage to our society, and therefore the fact that all of it was built on a false story helps everyone understand that it is vital for us to learn the truth about 9/11. There is fear at first, especially considering that we might very well have hired the terrorists to protect us from terrorism, and that those in control of our nation today cannot be unaware of the falsity of the official line on 9/11. But today many people are losing their jobs, as well as their rights, and legislation has been enacted to enable martial law. If we want our society to remain free and viable, we have to demand the truth now. Spelling all of this out in concise communications, and beginning to offer next step solutions – a critical need that has been unmet so far – will convince more people, including scientists, to call for the truth. I’ve reached out to the Union of Concerned Scientists myself, and to the Obama Administration, and I’ll continue trying. We have a new paper coming out soon that will provide yet more compelling evidence for the WTC demolition theory. But the arguments must be made so that the audience will see their own self-interest in taking the risk to speak out. Simply answering questions truthfully is speaking out in today’s society, and it is no longer just a career choice, it’s a life choice.
ABN: What do you think are the best three or four points about 9/11 to raise with scientists or people with some training in the sciences? What parts of the official story are weakest?
KR: The first point that should draw the attention of anyone who has scientific background is the infinitesimally low probability that so many unprecedented events could have happened all on the same day. On 9/11, we had the first ever complete failure of our national air defenses (times four), while at the same time the first ever situation where all of the members of our chain of command were unavailable or incapable to respond to a national emergency, followed by the first three times that a skyscraper has fallen through the path of most resistance at nearly free-fall speed for any reason other than demolition, and so on and so on. The list of unprecedented events is staggering actually. And considering that all of that led us (emotionally) to the conclusion that we should invade the most strategically important lands in the world – lands that we already planned to invade anyway – the probability of such a scenario should be highly suspect, to make a gross understatement. Furthermore, scientists should look at the official explanations for how these things occurred, and note that these explanations changed dramatically several times, even contradicting each other. A second point for physical scientists is that the explanations given for the WTC destruction have all been completely unscientific, supported by no physical testing and ostensibly crafted by computer models that the public is not allowed to see. A third point is that there now exists a large body of evidence, including many witnesses and physical evidence, that supports the WTC demolition theory. Finally, as I said earlier, it is the psychology of 9/11 that is so tremendously important. When we realize that our nation, which was until recently the best educated in the world, was fooled so completely by such an incredibly weak story, our psychological biases and defense mechanisms come to light in a way that should immediately gain the attention of any psychologist or social scientist.
ABN: You and Dr. Steve Jones have done work investigating the presence of incendiary and explosive residues in the dust from the World Trade Center buildings. Can you say something about that? In your view, how strong is this evidence?
KR: The evidence is very strong. The new paper that I mentioned is much more conclusive than anything we’ve published before, and is supported by considerable physical testing. The team working on this project now includes scientists from around the world, and results have been replicated in different laboratories and different, independently obtained samples of WTC dust. I’ll leave it at that for now, as I’m not the lead author on this next paper, which will be published soon in a mainstream peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, several FOIA requests are in the works that, depending on the transparency of the responses, could help explain exactly how such explosive materials might have been installed in the buildings, and when. As I mentioned before, I’ve also been making nanothermites myself and have shared some of this work (link above) in a way that allows people to visually see the similarities. That work of synthesizing different formulations, with the purpose of matching exactly what we’ve seen in the dust, will help to narrow down the list of suspects. In other interviews I’ve emphasized that we can do much, in conjunction with the science, to zero in on the culprits by considering the intersection of three paths. That is, 1- who had access to such technologies at the time that these explosives were likely to have been installed, 2- who had access to these highly secure buildings, and 3- who was involved in the cover-up investigations that followed? If we examine that short list and consider motives, I think we’ll find those who actually committed the crimes of 9/11.
ABN: Wow. I did not expect that. That is a major piece of news that even the US media will not be able to ignore. One question comes to mind on this: Is the chain of custody for the dust good enough for a law case? Or, put another way, is undisturbed dust from the buildings still available for independent testing?
KR: I’m afraid that the mainstream media will be able to ignore it. What is already known about 9/11 is enough to bring the whole house of cards down, several times over. If the media can ignore that information, it can ignore anything. But to be clear, the mainstream media has reported bits and pieces of truth over the years. For example, one of the most successful 9/11 truth websites is one that is built entirely on mainstream media sources – The History Commons (http://www.historycommons.org/). What happens is that this information gets reported only once, and never gets brought together in a cohesive picture that allows readers to readily understand the implications. But back to your question – do we have chain of custody documentation on the samples? Yes, we have signed affidavits from each of the sample collectors, who in each case collected the samples and forwarded them directly to the person conducting the experiments. We’re now using a customized version of a standard chain-of-custody form intended for typical environmental samples, which allows the information to be transferred in the same way every time. As with all good science, what we’re trying to do is to provide a procedure by which other competent scientists can replicate the results. And to your second point, yes, there is a great deal of WTC dust still out there. Helping other honest investigators find samples will not be a problem.
ABN: I hope you are wrong about the media. It is true they have ignored so much, they no longer deserve to be called news media. But how can they ignore the fact that incendiaries have been found in WTC dust and that the finding has been replicated and can be independently confirmed? Anyway, we will know soon enough, I guess. Even if the mainstream media ignores the evidence, less-than-mainstream opinion-makers (Shermer, Cockburn, Chomsky, Zinn, Goodman, etc.) may find it more difficult to deny. Some time ago you debated Michael Shermer on 9/11 (see: “9/11 and Skepticism”: http://www.americanbuddhist.net/9-11-and-skepticism). How do you think he will deal with the new findings? What about the others? Will they be forced to change their views?
KR: We should consider the fact that most of these people are just acting in their own self interest, and when groups of people act independently in their own self interest it is not a conspiracy, it is human nature. For example, Professor Chomsky has written a number of books that relate to the events of 9/11. In fact, he wrote a book with the title “9/11”. All of this is based on the notion of “blowback but never managed blowback”, which I wrote about in a recent essay. Therefore, if he were now to say that he suddenly believes that the alternative theories (e.g. managed blowback) might have merit, he would be essentially negating a large body of his own work. That is also true for Goodman, I think. But Howard Zinn has only recently started to say that we should move on from 9/11, that it is “in the past”, which is a very strange thing for an historian to say. He was previously quite supportive, having written a blurb or two for David Ray Griffin’s books. I don’t know what made him change his mind, but if you have tried to fight for 9/11 truth you know that there can be tremendous peer pressure to quit asking those questions. It’s a very painful subject, and can take a toll on a person. True compassion for people like Chomsky and Zinn would certainly help, in my opinion. Even more so, with 9/11 and with many other challenges we are facing, forgiveness will be a very important skill in the future. Shermer is a good example of where that will have to come into play. He is someone who has worked hard to put down any questioning of the events of 9/11, and there really aren’t many people in that category. Most others, including mainstream media representatives, are just acting in their own self interest, to avoid their own pain and, in a futile effort, to avoid real change. Lasting positive change will require us to put away our heroes (e.g. Chomsky and Zinn) and our demons (i.e. those who just happen to live on the last oil-rich land). Lasting change will also require us to let go of many of our unnecessary beliefs and opinions, so that more truthful information can take hold. My colleagues and I are trying to supply that truthful information so that it is available when people are ready to make that change.
ABN: In this talk and in your writings, you have often emphasized such things as “human nature”, our capacity for “self-deception”, the “deep psychology” of human beings, and our need for more “truth” in society. These are also primary themes within the Buddhist tradition. From other communications with you, I know that you have more than a passing interest in Buddhism. In this interview, you also mentioned your Catholic upbringing. Can you expand on these themes a bit? How does your work on 9/11 affect you spiritually and how do your spiritual or moral beliefs affect your work on 9/11? Gandhi once said: “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” How do you understand the intersection of religion, politics, and science?
KR: I’ve got great respect for people who sincerely pursue their religious convictions. That includes people of many faiths, including Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Christian people. Buddhism is the religion that speaks to me most clearly, and the one that I work to learn the most about. I was raised Catholic, and Christian moral values remain with me although I don’t practice the Christian faith formally. But these various designations are not important in my opinion, and I’m most compelled by the common goal of these religions, the perennial philosophy as it is sometimes called, to seek the underlying source of existence, our greater Self, and abandon the lesser self. We find this theme, that tells us to let go of our smaller self or our ego-based deception, throughout all the great religions. St. Francis was an inspirational Catholic leader who said “It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.” All Christians know that “Pride goeth before the fall”, and Buddhists focus on release from the attachment that creates suffering. Both the Qur’an and the Torah speak about self-deception, and the Talmud tells us that lies are the worst form of theft (theft of ideas), and so on. Of course we can see for ourselves that people who live more truthfully, being more honest with themselves, have the best chance at long term physical survival. And as I’ve said before, 9/11 is the best example of mass self-deception, and therefore the best opportunity for us to learn about such things, and move toward a better world. Mass self-deception is exemplified beautifully by the official story of 9/11, in which we of Western cultures accepted that dark-skinned demons committed completely irrational, violent acts for no good reason. The fact that those demons just happened to live on the most strategic lands in the world, lands that our “leaders” already planned to invade, did not occur to many people. The unconscious fear and rage, that the corporate media worked so hard to instill on the matter, kept us from realizing that Muslims could not have been involved in the crimes of 9/11 at all, because taking innocent life is against their religion. We might say that instead of being real Muslims, they were “nominally” Muslims, much like the leaders of our governments have called themselves Christians when everyone knows, from the fruits of their labor, they are as far from Christians as people can get. But those semantics are just excuses after the fact. We were deceived, and many of us went along with it for years. What will we do with this knowledge? Such a weak and unsupported lie cannot be maintained, for so long, without self-deception. So my work on 9/11 is part of an effort to seek greater truth, and to help others learn enough to survive and prosper both physically and spiritually. Politics is not something I know much about, and actually I’ve never considered what I do to be political in nature. But I might be wrong. I’ve still got a lot to learn myself.
ABN: I usually use the word “politics” to indicate power relationships in society and their interplay. Washington and all that then becomes a subset of American politics, which would also include media, public perception, propaganda, fake science, why it happens and so on. This definition is not so common though. Anyway, in this sense much of what you are doing is “political” because you are trying to make the public aware of how they are being deceived by proponents of the official story of 9/11. In this rough context, one thing about you and most of the other core 9/11 people that really stands out in my mind is you are using a model of “political” leadership that is quite rare in America today, but that is proving to be very effective. I am thinking of David Ray Griffin, Steve Jones, Graeme MacQueen, Barrie Zwicker, you, and many others–there is a selflessness, honesty, and quiet decency about all of you that is truly impressive. I doubt that your style was consciously chosen, and though it may be difficult for you to do, can you speak about this a bit? Does your way of doing what you do come from your education, from your sense of ethics, from your “spirituality,” from the kind of truths you are talking about, or something else? What is it about 9/11 that has drawn in so many really decent people, people it seems that would never have sought a place in the public eye but for this event?
KR: It seems that the word politics has only negative connotations now, as does the word power. In the past, power was something good, like in the Tao Te Ching. But that was about lasting power, and I don’t think there’s much chance of Washington being in that category. Whatever lasts, resonates, and gives power is a conjugate of its natural environment. Both Tao and Darwin agree on this. That reminds me that you’ve listed some great people, but have forgotten the women. Some of the first and greatest 9/11 truth leaders were women. Cynthia McKinney, Indira Singh, Catherine Austin-Fitts, the Jersey Girls, and others are in that group. All of these people are examples of selflessness and decency, and I’d be honored to be mentioned in such company. But I think that selflessness and decency are actually more natural, and therefore not so much chosen as “just exactly so”, as a Buddhist teacher might say. One such teacher that I admire is the late Dainin Katagiri, a Zen teacher from Minnesota, formerly from Japan. In his book “Returning to Silence”, he taught about real knowing, and allowing yourself “to stand in the appropriate place.” Since the book is written more for monks, not lay people like myself, I might be misinterpreting it. But Katagiri Roshi wrote that realizing the Truth is the same as being yourself honestly, and one cannot really live without being truthful and seeking an actualized realization of the truth for all beings. My answer then, is that the people listed above didn’t just choose to speak out about 9/11, it’s also that doing so is simply who they are. My feeling is that this is the case for most of the people who have stayed the course in seeking the truth about 9/11. They know how important it is for all of us to know what happened, but they really work for the truth simply because they cannot do otherwise. I’m not talking about those who have made a career of it, trying to make money from it, or those who have done it for the fame. Over the years, in the worst of the attacks and smear campaigns against us, I’ve told my colleagues that we have to decide first why we’re doing this. If you can’t say that you would still be working for the truth even if you never got any credit or reward for it, and even if you know that you might end up suffering greatly because of it, then you shouldn’t be doing it. We should only seek the truth honestly, because we know it’s the right thing to do and it will give everyone a better chance at survival, albeit maybe only for future generations. The people you mentioned are doing it for those reasons, and that’s why they have succeeded. I don’t know that all of them are religious, but they are all dedicated to honestly seeking the truth. This is because of their nature, and when they have other reasons, it’s a matter of something greater than their own personal gain. Therefore they are a reflection of what is True and have the power to be part of something great.
ABN: Where do you see the 9/11 movement going over the next year or two? Will things be much different under Obama? Is there a better chance of gaining mainstream recognition or a new investigation now that he is president?
KR: People are becoming more open and accepting of the 9/11 truth movement as time goes on. Five or six years ago we didn’t get any mainstream media coverage, even negative coverage. Things are different now. This is partly because the emotional trauma of 9/11 is more in the past, and because we’ve seen so many recognizable and admirable people speak out over the intervening years. We also see more openness because, as I said before, as things develop nationally and worldwide, people see more of their own self-interest tied to getting out the truth about the so-called War on Terror. The more welcoming environment is also a function of younger folks not being as tied to the official story as older people are. Last week I interviewed with a 12 year old girl who was doing a project for school on 9/11 truth. I asked her if she thought the subject would bring her grief due to peer pressure. She said no, everybody talks about it. Eventually, this will be the case, and everyone will know that 9/11 was an inside job and it will be considered obvious. The question that faces us today is whether or not we’ll reach a critical mass awareness, one that will create insistent public demand for a new investigation, before people become so overwhelmed with the collapsing economy and other crises (e.g. new wars, martial law), that the truth will only be useful in hindsight, for future generations to learn from. For the truth about 9/11 to be useful to this generation, people will need to quickly recognize that 9/11 has been the driving force behind the wars and policies that expedited this economic collapse, as well as totalitarian legislation, and the destruction of our country’s moral standing in the world. Once people accept the need for 9/11 truth, other urgent issues come to mind quickly. Why did our government, our mass media and our academic institutions not help us get the truth out? What really drives public policy – public opinion or corporate greed? These are important questions and the answers will be tremendously helpful to society. What are the odds that Obama will make this happen? To answer that we should take a look at what little we know about him now. First of all he is only one man, and there are no individual heroes that will make everything better, just as there are no demons that are responsible for it all. Lasting positive change will require far more than a few new laws, and Obama is fighting difficult battles just to pass his first bills in a Democrat led Congress. Secondly, he has said that he won’t investigate the crimes of the Bush Administration, so he’s not likely to investigate 9/11. Obama made an enormous number of promises to get elected, and he appears to be following up on a few. But he’s working from within the exact same system as Bush and Clinton did, and he’s hiring the same people too. As I said, I don’t know much about politics, but there is evidence that the same financial interests control both parties, and all politicians like Obama need to be submissive to those interests or they cannot raise the needed campaign money let alone get elected. For an interesting evaluation of international financial interests and 9/11, I recommend a new book by author and activist Don Paul, for which I contributed the Introduction. The title of this book is “The World is Turning: “9/11″, The Movement for Justice, & Reclaiming America for the World.”
New!ABN: What is your take on the almost complete lack of honest, in-depth coverage of 9/11 in US mainstream news? Why have so many American journalists shown so little interest in the greatest news story of recent history and arguably of all time?
New! KR: To answer the second question, we can begin with the only other successful terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11. You might remember that in the month after 9/11, letters containing anthrax were mailed to two US Senators, both leading Democrats, and representatives of five major media organizations. The recipients included people who were openly asking questions and resisting the Bush Administration’s plan for “responding” to the 9/11 attacks. Five people died, and the anthrax was later traced back to a US Army lab, but no legitimate explanation has ever been given for what happened. Since then, there have been major media stories here and there, as I mentioned with regard to the History Commons, but these stories are not pursued. Personally I’ve been interviewed more times than I can remember, but only about half a dozen times by major media sources. Among those were Reuters, the Village Voice, the London Times, the Toronto Star, the New York Times and some foreign media. The Village Voice cited my name and story but later refused to publish a letter I sent. The New York Times gave only a very brief mention of the extensive information that was shared. What was most interesting is that most of these mainstream media sources were only interviewing me because they somehow heard that I was a leading “conspiracy theorist.” They had no interest in how I came to question the official story of 9/11, and sometimes asked very poorly thought-out questions that were framed in stereotypical simplicity. These experiences showed me that the mainstream media are no longer interested in “news” as we once defined it. They are in the boredom killing business, just as the great film “Network” presented it. Most news in America today is not about providing needed information, but is a sensational sales job that has evolved as part corporate propaganda and part soothing mental balm that is rewarded by consumers who don’t want to think about the growing, and sometimes painful, details of life in a complex society.
New! ABN: You have brought up the theme of self-deception a few times during this discussion. You also mentioned the very human desire to be right. It seems now that one of the biggest obstacles to 9/11 truth is the huge number of people in America who simply may not be willing to admit that they have been wrong about 9/11 truth. For years, those of us who questioned the official story have had to endure being called “kooks” or “traitors.” There is less of that now, but as far as I can tell, the insults are being replaced by a sort of apathy that seems to have its roots in people not being able to feel enthusiastic about a subject they once scoffed at. Do you see anything like this, and if so, can you think of an effective and compassionate way to make people like that both feel and understand the deep significance of 9/11 truth? How can we make people like that really care?
New! KR: The ability to admit when we are wrong will be a critically important skill for those who survive in the future. But it’s difficult for us in America today to admit when we are wrong. This is partly because being right or wrong on most issues has not been as important for people today as it was for our ancestors. For many years now, we have led leisurely lives in which having wrong or superfluous views on many things had no impact on whether or not we could still feed and shelter ourselves. This is because we’ve been living in a time when there has been so much wealth, far more wealth than any previous time in human history. But that is changing now, and we’re beginning to see how we’ve been wrong in some very important ways. The wealth of our nation and our world depends on endless economic growth, and this has been made possible for the last few decades only because of the availability of cheap fossil fuels. Petroleum geologists have likened this energy abundance to the equivalent of each person in western society having 300 “energy slaves.” With the peak of global oil production behind us, the party is over, as Richard Heinberg has said, and the importance of being actually right in our daily decision making will become much more vital as time goes on. Another reason why it is difficult for people today to admit when we are wrong is that the luxury of being wrong without consequence has resulted in a large number of people who have attributed undue importance to their own opinions and beliefs. For many, this has gone to the extent that we have created a tenuous self-image from these opinions and beliefs that has become our identity. Being wrong is therefore a threat to our very existence, in a sense. It is the energy that we expend defending threats to our self-image, and the blindness that comes from not being able to admit when we’re wrong, that leads to bad decisions and puts us at risk of threatening our actual physical existence. With the collapse of the world economies, and the other critical issues facing humanity today, more and more people will begin seeking truth, about 9/11 among other things. What we can do is continue to help them to review their past opinions and beliefs on these important subjects, and show how those opinions and beliefs were built on falsehoods. We can also emphasize how our knowledge about 9/11 is so integral to our knowledge about the War on Terror and the associated policies that are currently draining our society of any chance for a peaceful and prosperous future.
ABN: Thank you for your time and insights. Is there anything else you would like to say?
KR: Thank you, I hope the discussion was useful. It’s important for people to realize that understanding the events of 9/11, and the false official explanations given for those events, is a fundamental first step in solving the problems we’re facing as a society today. There are critical and species-threatening issues that need to be addressed immediately, and humankind is on the brink of a transition that will not leave much room for continuing errors. That’s why many of us are convinced that it is this “catastrophic and catalyzing” realization, that we’ve been deceived about 9/11, that can bring us together to work for lasting positive change.
Kevin Ryan is former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.
Through interviews, presentations, and his work as co-editor at the online Journal of 911 Studies, Mr. Ryan works to bring out the truth behind the events of 9/11/01 for the benefit of all people.
A list of his writings can be found here: Presentations and Writings
This interview was conducted by Tom Graham via email over the past few weeks.
This is the paper the was published in The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31:
Download here.Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe