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“”There is a virus sweeping the world. It infects opponents of the Bush government, sucks their brains out through their eyes and turns them into gibbering idiots...the disease is called Loose Change.
Loose Change is a 2005 schlockumentary film produced by Dylan Avery, Korey Rowe, and Jason Bermas, that has received widespread attention on the Internet — and that does not bode well for evaluating the intelligence of the billions that use it. Through monstrously poor logic, it attempts to "prove" that the 9/11 attacks were a false flag operation carried out by the United States government, specifically by high-ranking members of the George W. Bush administration. Claims made in the film have been proven false so many times that there have been several updates in which bogus claims have been removed, although the hypothesis has been unaffected. No one knows why it is called "Loose Change," though that is theorized to be the sound you hear whenever the people who produced it shake their heads.
Among the more outrageous claims put forth are:
- That the World Trade Center towers did not fall because planes flew into them (although they begrudgingly admit that planes did fly into them, but not the Pentagon), but because explosives were placed in the towers causing them to fall.
- That the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, not an airplane.
- That United flight 93 did not crash in Pennsylvania, but landed in Ohio, where all the passengers were removed and disappeared.[note 1]
Loose Change wins the "Occam's Duct Tape" award for widely circumventing the simplest, most logical explanation in order to put forth some truly insane ideas. The producers assert that 9/11 was set up in order for the US to justify starting war in Iraq, but fail to explain why they would carry out such a ruse but then not incorporate into their elaborate scheme any connection to Iraq. Surely, if they could build such a story from the ground up, they could have made some of the (presumably fake) "hijackers" Iraqi, so there would be some sort of connection. Additionally, they could have much more easily put in some fake WMDs to justify Iraq and ensure a McCain presidency.
Furthermore, the producers seem to labor under the idea that if the towers had not fallen, people would not have supported a war. While they denied that planes crashed into the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, too many cameras caught the second plane flying into the World Trade Center for them to be able to plausibly deny that, though they undoubtedly considered it. However, as the first plane happened to be caught in the background of a separate documentary being filmed in New York, passing it off as a "cruise missile" would have been tricky. But according to the producers, the Bush administration was not convinced that the hijacking and destruction of four planes would be enough to get the (evidently overwhelmingly pacifist?) people of America riled up for a war. No, the towers had to fall, or people probably wouldn't even notice.
To that end, which the theory goes, they risked the entire plan by planting explosives in the World Trade Center buildings, despite the fact that this would be an enormous risk, and if discovered, would not only foil the plan, but lead to investigations that would bring down the administration, having almost every member of said administration facing down a prison sentence, and heavily damage the Republican Party. Even though thousands of innocent lives were to be lost in the crashes themselves, and the towers would obviously be evacuated, the Loose Change wingnuts would have us believe that it was absolutely necessary that the towers came crashing down, or Bush wouldn't get his war. Weird — yet people believe this.
Also left unexplained is what, exactly, the story is with United 93. They say it landed in Ohio (and the plane itself was still in service after 9/11), but all the passengers would have had to be killed, locked away in secret prisons, or completely brainwashed. Wouldn't it have been easier to just crash the plane? They obviously did it with at least two other jets.
In a spectacular display of poor journalistic skills, the producers were caught citing the American Free Press, a far-right rag published by former members of the anti-Semitic group the Liberty Lobby, as a direct source for at least one of their claims. Avery and Bermas were further publicly humiliated on an episode of Democracy Now! by James Meigs and David Dunbar, the writers of a Popular Mechanics' 9/11 conspiracy theory debunking piece.
In an interview with vocativ.com on April 25, 2014, Avery talked about his experiences as a darling of the 9/11 truther movement, as well as taking a 180-degree reversal on his previous views. He detailed the movement's hangers-on, who attempted to ride their popularity in what he claims started as a movement to question what happened. He further describes how the truther movement was joined by racist elements, and that some celebrities had made promises of funding but backed out due to the racism of some members. And he notes the eventual descent into insanity by members which resulted in the suicide of leader Michael Ruppert.
He also talks about questioning what the truther movement had become, and a decision to leave due to paranoid delusions of many members, then receiving threats against his family and his life by members that wouldn't tolerate dissent. He said that getting sucked into the rabid paranoia of conspiracy movements can consume one's life.
- Loose change second edition on YouTube
- Loose Change at IMDb
- The Loose Change Viewer Guide, which includes point-by-point rebuttals of Loose Change. (Link will download the document in MS Word format.)
- Luke's Change - because Vader was in on it, man.
- Screw Loose Change
- Though the film doesn't say it, it clearly implies that David Blaine was involved.
- Exclusive 9/11 Debate: Loose Change Filmmakers vs. Popular Mechanics Editors of "Debunking 9/11 Myths", Democracy Now!, Sep. 11 2006
- The Rapid Rise and Fall of Dylan Avery With his 9/11 conspiracy doc "Loose Change," director Dylan Avery became an Internet sensation and a leader of a movement. Then the film grew into a monster that nearly ruined his life