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The 9/11 Myth

The official myth of the 9/11/01 attack was rolled out on the day of the attack. Its major elements are:

  • Sleeper cells of Islamic terrorist directed by Osama bin Laden hijack four jetliners using only primitive weapons (boxcutters).
  • The hijackers fly two of the planes into the Twin Towers.
  • The hijackers fly the third plane into the Pentagon, later causing part of the building to collapse.
  • Passengers on the fourth plane attack the hijackers, causing the plane to crash in Pennsylvania.
  • The towers, weakened by fires, collapse.

There is no public evidence that strongly supports any of these claims. The contents of the jetliners' black boxes have never been made public. Records of the alleged calls from the planes have never been produced. Interviews with air traffic controllers have been destroyed. The steel from the collapsed World Trade Center buildings was rapidly recycled without forensic examination. The blueprints for those buildings have remained off-limits to the public. The FBI, by its own admission, has failed to turn up "a single piece of paper" linking the alleged hijackers to the plot.

Memetic Engineering

Dissecting the official myth reveals a set of two memes:

  • Islamic militants hijack jetliners with simple weapons.
  • Jumbo-jet crashes cause buildings to collapse.
These memes function primarily on a subconscious level. They are reinforced through repetition, and bypass rational argument.

Memes spread through reinforcement. The first meme is reinforced by the repeated success of the alleged teams of hijackers in taking over the flights. The second meme is reinforced by the collapses of both of the towers hit by jetliners, and the collapse of a portion of the Pentagon above the crash zone. Building 7 was not hit by a plane, but its collapse aids the second meme by making steel buildings seem prone to collapse. Repetition of unlikely events is even more unlikely in fact, but is favorable for the meme.

Memes can succeed in spite of the absence of precedent, and of contradictions to easily demonstrated facts. The fact that no steel high-rise has ever collapsed from fires, and the fact that no steel building has ever collapsed in a top-down manner, did not stand in the way of the second meme.

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