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The 9/11 conspiracy theorist who changed his mind

“If you are presented with new evidence, take it on, even if it contradicts what you or your group want to believe. You have to give the truth the greatest respect.”

The 9/11 conspiracy theorist who changed his mind

The poster boy for a mad movement: Charlie Veitch     Photo: Will Storr

The poster boy for a mad movement': Charlie Veitch Photo: Will Storr

By Will Storr

7:00AM BST 29 May 2013

On a June afternoon in the middle of New York’s Times Square, Charlie Veitch took out his phone, turned on the camera and began recording a statement about the 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center.

“I was a real firm believer in the conspiracy that it was a controlled demolition,” he started. “That it was not in any way as the official story explained. But, this universe is truly one of smoke screens, illusions and wrong paths. If you are presented with new evidence, take it on, even if it contradicts what you or your group want to believe. You have to give the truth the greatest respect, and I do.”

To most people, it doesn’t sound like a particularly outrageous statement to make. In fact, the rest of the video was almost banal in its observations; that the destruction of the towers may actually have been caused by the two 767 passenger jets that flew into them. But to those who subscribed to Veitch’s YouTube channel, a channel he set up to promulgate conspiracy theories like the one he was now rejecting, it was tantamount to heresy. …

His friend showed him the online documentary “Terrorstorm: A History of Government Sponsored Terror,” made by the American radio host Alex Jones. It parsed a new version of history, in which governments secretly organised terror attacks to spread fear and extend their matrices of control. From the Reichstag fire to the Gulf of Tonkin up to the present day, it writhed with apparently unassailable facts and sources.

Jones is a brilliantly effective propagandist who recently made headlines for his hostile showdown on US television with Piers Morgan, over gun control. …

Veitch was now a well-known figure in the conspiracy community. But, while some believers could be dismissed as harmless crackpots, there was a malevolent undercurrent to many of the theories.

In essence, the modern conspiracy narrative is the same as the one that has existed since at least the 19th century: that the few (often termed the “Illuminati”) control the many. This, of course, is the nucleus of the dangerous anti-Jewish myth. …

“I’ve gone full circle in my Right-wing thinking,” he says. “There’s a professional victimhood in conspiracy theorists. There’s a hatred of high achievers.”

As they say — Read the whole fascinating thing. Especially the last three paragraphs. Oh, and some of the comments are interesting too.


  1. RAB says:

    “There’s a professional victimhood in conspiracy theorists. There’s a hatred of high achievers.”

    Yep I know a few of those. Always fending the wolf/Bailiff from their door, never their fault that their bills are not paid, it’s the Govt’s for not giving them enough free stuff.

    I SAW those planes smash into the Twin Towers. I happened to be in the company of some crusty friends of mine. When the first one hit there was an air of slight jubilation… Yey America getting what’s coming to it!… When the second one hit there was no jubilation at all, especially as you could see the bodies jumping out of the windows. When the towers collapsed everyone felt sick to their stomach. Nobody in that room believed that the friggin CIA had done it.

    I have a friend who still believes that it was a controlled explosion, and I counter… how the fuckin hell could that be? they were working buildings, full of workers every day of the week. You would have had to have built the explosives into the building when it was built, or smuggle them in on the day without the workers getting wise to it? That’s completely insane!! But still people believe that shit.

  2. Julie near Chicago says:

    I have a relative with a hatred of high achievers. I don’t think he buys into the 9/11 conspiracy, but he does know the Koch Brothers are the EEEEEEvillllisssssst of the Evil.

    RAB, you don’t understand. It’s not the CIA wot dunnit, it’s Dubya. His own self. That’s even worse.

    Now I’ve been reading that some of the hijackers didn’t even know they were on a one-way mission. That one was news to me. I guess AQ must have taken “loose lips” a little more seriously than certain Western liberal democracies’ grunts do.

    I have an online pal who says that he had somewhere between one and two dozen Muslim friends, all as American as apple pie — but that on 9/11, all but two of them cheered. He doesn’t much incline to give Muslims the benefit of the doubt anymore. Then there was that moderate-Muslim bridge-builder in NY state who had the broadcasting station, nice, upstanding, capitalist-type guy, doing his bit to improve the world by beheading his wife for some supposed infraction….

    I know people still believe it (9/11 Inside).

    That’s why I cringe when people like Dr. Tim Ball (the Canadian climatologist) or C. Monckton go on Alex Jones, by the way. SOME publicity really IS bad publicity.

    Speaking of Conspiracy Theories, one is that A. Jones himself is a Russian agent of influence. I guess he’s here to subvert American common sense. I don’t know about that — sometimes I think it’s already been as subverted as it can get. SNARK!

    Anyway, I liked the Veitch story. You say you saw the planes — you mean you were there, in NYC? I saw it on TV — didn’t find out about it till mid-afternoon, having been busy elsewhere that morning. Yes, the people jumping out is horrible. What a thing to have to say — I’m glad they had the presence of mind to do it. I’d have done the same.

    Thanks for your comment, RAB. It must have been terrible for you.

  3. John Galt says:

    Am I happy that some conspiracy theorist recants his theory? Sure, one less nutter on the bus. The problem with the 9/11 Inside Job fruitcakes is that they don’t acknowledge the evidence that’s there and make up their own fantasies to fill the gaps.

    To construct buildings that high at the time they were built required revolutionary new approaches to balance weight and strength. This left the building vulnerable to the combined explosion & high intensity fire that led to the collapse.

    The 9/11 Inside Job nutters also view that the vertical collapse with suspicion, saying this could only have happened in the almost instantaneous, concertina like collapse could only occur through perfectly timed explosives, but this is to ignore physics and the sheer magnitude of the weight coming down, with each floor weighing 627 metric tonnes without the contents.

    The jets of smoke in lower layers just below the collapse aren’t evidence of detonations but the sheer pressure of floor-after-floor forcing air down through the central column and blasting out the windows. It’s a shock-wave for fucks sake!

    Finally the holy grail of building 7, which collapsed even though it was unharmed by the collapse of the twin towers ignores the fact that the collapse was equivalent to a localized 2.3 earthquake at ground zero, which damaged the ground around and underneath the site and undermined the foundations of building 7.

    Point-by-point, you just go through the physics of slamming two fully laden jets into the twin towers and the rest of 9/11 was just the unravelling of consequence. No need for conspiracy theories or pre-planted explosives, just terrorists with a head full of madness and a will to die (some of them at least).

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