142. Jim Marrs On Donald Rumsfeld and “What is Building 7?”

Bestselling author and investigative journalist Jim Marrs discusses how disinformation is used to shape history.

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Jim Marrs, author of, Trillion Dollar Conspiracy.  During the interview Mr. Marrs discusses how disinformation is disseminated:

Alex Tsakiris: It seems like we’ve developed a culture of deception.  I wanted to get your thoughts on Donald Rumsfeld who when asked to explain how the events of 9-11 could have resulted in the collapse of Building 7 responded with, “What is Building 7? I have no idea. I’ve never heard about that.”

So I just wonder, have we reached a new level in this kind of culture of deception where they don’t even care about the extent to which we know they’re lying?

Jim Marrs: That’s exactly right. And I’m sorry, but you can say a lot of things about Donald Rumsfeld but being a stupid person and an ignorant person just is does not even enter into the question. So you cannot tell me that Donald Rumsfeld does not know about the collapse of the Solomon Brothers Building, better known as World Trade Center Building #7, which collapsed at 5:20 in the afternoon of September the 11th, 2001. And one of the three buildings that dropped into their own foundations after being hit by only two airplanes, okay?

But then again this is the same Donald Rumsfeld who, back during the Reagan administration, was the head of Searle Pharmaceutical, who told his associates that he was going to push through and get the government to approve the use of Aspartame, which is a carcinogenic—a really harmful substance—that the government up until then had refused to certify through the FDA. And now there’s just a growing awareness and a growing outcry against the use of Aspartame because Aspartame, when it gets into your body, the body heat changes it basically to formaldehyde. There has been study after study showing these problems. This was all done on Donald Rumsfeld’s watch.

So this guy is a constant—well, I’ll just say it, I mean, he’s a liar, okay? And I can prove it. Again that’s not a theory.

Alex Tsakiris: Well, he’s a go-to-guy liar, which I wanted to explore because I think in my little world here exploring the science of consciousness I started with the notion that maybe science was different. But what I’ve come to understand is that there are these guys who are the go-to-guy liars in science as well.  Guys who you can rely on to really push forward the story and can stand in front of the public and just tell these bold-faced lies. How do you think that works?

Jim Marrs: Well, that works very simply. In the case you’re talking about the technique used is to appeal to authority. Oh, well, I’m an authority. I’m a high-ranking person. I’m in the leadership so I wear a suit and tie so you have to listen to me because I’m the expert.

 

There was a time when there were scientists, doctors, lawyers, people who were studied, had degrees and who did probably know a little bit more than the average guy on the street and were looked up to as authorities and as experts. But that time is past.

Today money is the only thing that counts, unfortunately, in our society and the corporations and the organizations that have deep pockets can hire an “expert” to stand up in suit and tie and say anything they want them to say.

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Alex Tsakiris: I’m going to suggest to you that today’s guest may have more to contribute to the topics we care most about on Skeptiko than most of the scientists, researchers, and other great thinkers we’ve had an opportunity to talk to. Today, Jim Marrs is an award-winning investigative journalist, best-selling author of such books as, Rule by Secrecy, Rise of the Fourth Reich, and his latest, Trillion-Dollar Conspiracy. Jim Marrs has gone places that few dare to go and he’s done it with a tenacity and a nose for the story that we expect but rarely see from today’s journalists.

Jim, it’s a great pleasure to have you on Skeptiko.

Jim Marrs: Thanks a lot. I appreciate being here with you.

Alex Tsakiris: So Jim, as I alluded to in the introduction, a lot of folks who listen to this show might be a little bit surprised that we’re talking to someone who’s best associated with a category that gets labeled as “conspiracy theories.” I think the topics that you’ve explored in your book, particularly the way that we’ve been packaged and sold a story to fit someone else’s agenda, well, I think that’s at the heart of what we talk about here.

Jim Marrs: Yeah. Well, let me say this about conspiracy theory. Okay, first off, conspiracy. Conspiracy comes from the Latin word “conspiri” which literally means “to bring together” and simply means that two or more people are acting in concert. So it’s not necessarily a bad term. It’s become a pejorative because the media for so long has said, “It’s a conspiracy,” like conspiracies don’t happen. Excuse me, there are people rotting in jail right now who have been convicted of conspiracy.

And conspiracy is not necessarily bad. If you and I plan a surprise birthday party for a neighbor, that’s a conspiracy. But it’s not a bad conspiracy; it’s a good conspiracy. So a conspiracy in and of itself is neither good nor bad, it’s just things that happen. In fact, my motto is if it’s not an act of God, and yes there are accidents–planes crash and ships sink and automobiles have accidents–but if it’s not an act of God, it’s a conspiracy. Somebody planned it that way. That’s just the way the world works.

Then we get to theory. A theory is a thesis. Perhaps this. In fact, the scientific method is you start off with a hypothesis or a thesis. Perhaps this does this or can be made to do this. Then you test it and you duplicate it and if you find out that time after time the results are the same, then you have proof. Then it’s no longer a theory. It becomes a law or a fact. So if you can prove something, it’s no longer a theory.

When I say that John F. Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy, that there was more than one person involved, that is really no longer a theory. Even the House Committee, Select Committee on Assassinations, a committee of Congress, back in the 1980s concluded that there was more than one person shooting at Kennedy. Well, excuse me, that’s a conspiracy. So there again that’s not a theory that there was a conspiracy; that’s a fact.

Alex Tsakiris: Right. That’s why I think the real issue behind all this stuff is really about deception. I think that’s at the core of what your books are really about. Conspiracy isn’t the interesting part; it’s the deception because as you keep diving into these topics and even current ones that come up, it seems like we’ve developed a culture of deception.

I was just going to bring to your attention something that just happened recently and I hadn’t heard any comments you made about it. Donald Rumsfeld was quoted on the radio just in the last week or so and they asked him, “What about September 11th? What about Building 7?” And he said, “What is Building 7? I have no idea. I’ve never heard about that.” So I just wonder, and I wanted to ask your opinion, have we reached a new level in this kind of culture of deception where they don’t even care about the extent to which you know they’re lying?  They’re just going to throw it out there anyway.

Jim Marrs: That’s exactly right. And I’m sorry, but you can say a lot of things about Donald Rumsfeld but being a stupid person and an ignorant person just is does not even enter into the question. So you cannot tell me that Donald Rumsfeld does not know about the collapse of the Solomon Brothers Building, better known as World Trade Center Building #7, which collapsed at 5:20 in the afternoon of September the 11th, 2001. And one of the three buildings that dropped into their own foundations after being hit by only two airplanes, okay?

But then again this is the same Donald Rumsfeld who, back during the Reagan administration, was the head of Searle Pharmaceutical, who told his associates that he was going to push through and get the government to approve the use of aspartame, which is a carcinogenic—a really harmful substance—that the government up until then had refused to certify through the FDA. And now there’s just a growing awareness and a growing outcry against the use of aspartame because aspartame, when it gets into your body, the body heat changes it basically to formaldehyde. There has been study after study showing these problems. This was all done on Donald Rumsfeld’s watch.

So this guy is a constant—well, I’ll just say it. I mean, he’s a liar, okay? And I can prove it. Again that’s not a theory.

Alex Tsakiris: Well, he’s a go-to-guy liar, which I wanted to explore because I think in my little world here in exploring science and two or three years ago when I started this show I had the idea that science was maybe different. But what I’ve come to understand is that there are these guys who are the go-to-guy liars. Who you can rely on to really push forward the story and can stand in front of the public and just tell these bold-faced lies. How do you think that works?

Jim Marrs: Well, that works very simply. If you’ve ever studied debate, there are a number of techniques that you use to argue a point. Of course, one of these is if you cannot attack the argument of your opponent then you attack your opponent. Well, hey, he’s a nut and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, blah, blah, blah. Ad hominem attacks, okay?

In the case you’re talking about the technique used is to appeal to authority. Oh, well, I’m an authority. I’m a high-ranking person. I’m in the leadership so I wear a suit and tie so you have to listen to me because I’m the expert.

There was a time when there were scientists, doctors, lawyers, people who were studied, had degrees and who did probably know a little bit more than the average guy on the street and were looked up to as authorities and as experts. But that time is past.

Today money is the only thing that counts, unfortunately, in our society and the corporations and the organizations that have deep pockets can hire an “expert” to stand up in suit and tie and say anything they want them to say. I guess a classic example of this is for the past 10 years or more, we have been harangued through the media by a variety of “experts” who have told us that the world is warming up. We’re suffering from global warming and it’s all due to CO2 emissions.

So therefore Congress is now even passing laws that are going to put a carbon tax. They’re going to come around and find out if you’re using too much electricity and too much heat in your home and they’re going to charge you for it.

And yet, it is now becoming clear that all this is unraveling. The scientists and some of the people and organizations that were touting this great global warming are now becoming into disrepute because it’s found that they have jiggled the numbers. They have fudged their statistics. They have conveniently left out contradicting data.

And the key thing is that what we now know is that the polar ice caps on Mars are diminishing; they’re melting. The ice on some of the moons of Jupiter, it’s melting. The outer planets are becoming more luminescent, which means they’re heating up. Which means that whatever’s going on, if there is a warming it’s solar system wide. It’s not because of our SUVs. And besides that, we’ve had some of the coldest weather on record.

Alex Tsakiris: Right. And of course anyone would point to you and say there can be seasonal or even small fluctuations year-to-year. That whole debate has to be pulled apart so many different ways, we can’t do it justice on this show. But 1) is there global warming, 2) is it caused by human activity, 3) to what extent is it caused by human activity, and then 4) is there anything we can do to really make a difference? And of course all of those points get rolled into one. I’m not even going to go there because I want to stay on this topic of deception.

Jim Marrs: My only point is that this is now turning into a genuine controversy and the reason that it’s turning into controversy is because for so long we listened to hired experts. And that gets back to disinformation, misinformation, and exactly what you were talking about. Just obfuscation of the truth.

Alex Tsakiris: Right. And so in this deception, and the way you pull this apart in your many books and the many areas that you’ve been brave enough to go into—there’s no other way to talk about it because—and I want to get into that a little bit. Let’s get into it right now because I have to imagine that there was a point in your career when as a journalist, as a writer, you got half-way into this story and you said, Man, what am I going to do here because I know if I go off the reservation on this and I go further than is allowed, that this isn’t going to fly. How did that play out for you?

Jim Marrs: Well, that’s true. I can still vividly recall back in the early 70s being cornered in a hallway of the newspaper that I was working for by an editor who said, “I want you to stop writing about nuclear power.” I said, “Why?” And he stuttered around and he said, “Well, because you know too much about it.” So yes, I have definitely felt the hands of the gatekeepers who do not want relevant information out.

But then you have to understand that all of the media, whether it’s radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, they are all fearful. They’re all fearful. They’re fearful of losing advertisers and they’re fearful of government interference or intervention, particularly broadcast, which is totally dependent upon the Federal Communications Commission to validate their licenses, which keeps them on the air. This is tremendous control. In fact, even in all of the years that I’ve put in and all the experiences I’ve had, I am still just absolutely shocked and amazed to realize how tightly controlled our corporate mass media truly is.

Let me explain one key thing. It’s not always control over the individual reporter or editor or producer. They can’t control all those people, but they can control the distribution of the information. There are stories happening daily all around this country that are incredible stories that probably any thoughtful, knowledgeable person needs to be aware of, and yet they’re not because those stories don’t get reported anyplace other than outside the particular city or community where they happened. That is control of the distribution of the news.

Alex Tsakiris: Right. I mean, it goes even further, right? As you’ve chronicled and others have chronicled, the difference between being on the front page and being on Page 13, Section B is everything.

Jim Marrs: Right. Exactly. And it runs one time and that’s it. You know, I used to work in advertising and public relations and the rule of thumb was reach and frequency. You have to reach the public with a message and as widespread as possible, that’s the reach. And then frequency—you have to give them that message at least five times before it finally sinks into their consciousness.

So if you have one story and it appears one time, that’s not enough frequency for the public to actually absorb that and remember that story. This is why certain things—well, without getting back into global warming—we are just hammered with global warming stories day after day after day until it’s just accepted as a mantra. And yet when you see a contrary story, it hits once. It may be in one publication and then it goes away. That’s a very unfair debate.

Alex Tsakiris: And as you alluded to, it’s not meant to be a debate. It’s meant to be dissemination of information.

Jim Marrs: Yes, you’re right.

Alex Tsakiris: But the other part of this that you also touched on that I find fascinating and I’ve run into as well, I call it the “deception of go-along to get-along.” And I think it crops up everywhere, and not just in the obvious cases where someone says, Hey, I’m not going to go as far as Jim Marrs. I’m never going to write a book called Alien Agenda. I don’t care if it landed on my front lawn, I wouldn’t write that book.

But the way it plays out in a more subtle way, and I don’t know if you want to comment on this or not, but Leslie Kean, a very respected journalist, wrote a great book, UFOs, Generals, Plots, and Government Officials Go On The Record. This book, as you know, just got great play and a great run but embedded in the story to me was this kind of go-along to get-along.

It’s underselling the story. It’s packaging in a certain way of oh my gosh, there’s a mystery here. We ought to investigate it. And to me it’s just kind of burying the lead which is we’ve known about this for a long time. We’ve investigated it exactly the way that we wanted to and just because we found a couple of outliers who are willing to go on the record isn’t the larger story of how we’ve managed to keep it under wraps for as long as we have?

Jim Marrs: Alex, you’ve got to understand that what you’re talking about in a general sense can be boiled down to the term “status quo.” Most people, including well-intentioned and honest people, are loathe to shake up the status quo because it makes everybody uncomfortable. Yet, I would simply ask you and your listeners to stop and look around at what’s happening in the world today.

Look what’s happening in our country today. Look at the radiation that’s now being swept across this country by these plants over in Fukushima. Look at the dead Gulf of Mexico which is still leaking oil down there but they’re not telling us about it.

Do we really like the status quo? Is this really satisfying our needs? Is this really making us a better people and are we all happy and contented and prosperous? I submit to you no.

So honestly we need to shake up the status quo. I’ve been doing that, I guess, my whole career and Alex, I’ll tell you, I think that comes back to the fact that when I was in college and on a degree plan for journalism, that was back in the days of the old republic and I was actually taught that I was supposed to be trying to find out the truth and report the truth to the public, you know?  And fool that I was I bought into it. I thought that was what I was supposed to be doing.

So I’ve been trying to do that my whole career but it’s an uphill fight because you not only have to fight politicians and corporate leaders who don’t want you to know the truth, but you have to fight your own editors. How do you know that? Can you prove that? Have you got three other sources? They’re fearful and they don’t want to shake up the status quo so they’ll fight you. And then the thing I was really unprepared for was the number of people out in the public who have actually told me to my face, “Hey, I don’t want to hear that. Don’t tell me about that.”

Alex Tsakiris: Absolutely. You know, that’s so fascinating, that last part. One of the things we’ve investigated, because to me it’s the biggest issue in science, is who are we really? What happens to us after we die? So there’s a whole bunch of science that suggests very strongly that our consciousness, in some way we don’t understand, survives our bodily death. So then you get into Heaven and all that stuff, but I don’t want to go there.

What I want to do is pull it back to a point of you can present that evidence. You can present that scientific data and you’ll get people who say, I don’t want to live in a world where I have to consider that. That’s so outside of my comfort zone that I don’t want to go there. I think that so much of the time what really is holding people back, what allows people to listen to Donald Rumsfeld in an obvious lie, and then just say, well, what was the score of the game last night? Let me skip over that and just get on with my life because I don’t want to upset it that much.

Jim Marrs: Well, I think the big problem is a lack of real journalists today. I keep up with the journalist publications and this idea of professional journalists and it seems like all they want to talk about is ethnicity, diversity in the newsroom, reaching more people. But there’s very little, precious little talk about let’s find out the truth of what’s going on and tell people.

Alex Tsakiris: The last point that I want to dig into, and it’s a huge one so I don’t know how far we’ll be able to get into it, but you mentioned the two words, “status quo,” explanation for a lot of what’s going on in the deception area. The other two word combination I’d use is “greater good.” You know, what we’re sold is for the greater good you need to be lied to. How are we sold this greater good argument, and why do we buy into it?

Jim Marrs: Well, I don’t buy into it very much because I just happen to be a truthful person. I’ve found in my own personal life that if I ever tried to tell a lie then I’d end up telling another lie to cover up for that lie and then you have to tell another lie to cover up for those lies, and pretty soon you’re just on a house made out of cards. When one of the cards gets pulled away the whole thing comes down and your credibility is gone. Forget it.

It’s like I’ve said quite often, if the Federal government of the United States was an individual, none of us would have anything to do with him, okay? Because he’s a proven liar. Now, I’m a very forgiving person so you lie to me one time, I can go, “Well, gee, I guess he was just mistaken or maybe he truly believed that even though it’s not true.” If you lie to me twice, I begin to raise my eyebrows and I go, “Now wait a minute.” You lie to me three times and it’s like, “That’s it. I don’t want anything to do with you because you’re just a proven liar.”

And the Federal government as an entity has lied, lied, lied. You can go back to the light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam and “Read my lips. No new taxes.” “I am not a crook.” I mean, they just lie to you. And what kills me, Alex, is it seems to me that so many politicians will just lie to you as a matter of course. Even when they probably could have told you the truth and it wouldn’t have made any big difference.

Alex Tsakiris: Yeah, that’s the really scary part. Let’s take the other side of that. Are they lying for a good reason? Are they lying for the reason we just said a minute ago which is, you know what? People don’t really want to hear the truth, even if they say they want to hear the truth?

There’s this guy—I don’t know if you’ve heard of him but I’d love to hear you comment on his book. He’s a very well-known financial guy who has predicted the market turns, manages billions of dollars. His name is Damon Vickers. Here’s the title of his book: The Day After the Dollar Crashes: A Survival Guide for the Rise of the New World Order.

Now this guy, I’m telling you, he’s a for-real guy. He manages a lot of money. And if you listen to what he has to say, he’s real straightforward. He takes the issues that you talk about in The Trillion-Dollar Conspiracy, your latest book, and he’s real upfront. He says, “Yeah. We’re bankrupt and we’re going to have to have a new world order to set everything right.”

Jim Marrs: Exactly. I don’t think anybody would argue that that’s the facts of the situation. That’s exactly what’s happening. The place where a lot of people still question me is that this is not just happenstance and it’s not just let’s not tell the truth for the better good. This is a plan, folks, this is a plan that’s being worked to basically destroy this country as a democratic republic, okay?

And this is a plan that’s been set into effect for many, many years because the wealthy oligarchs that are trying to run this world, they don’t think in terms of next week’s paycheck or even next month’s paycheck. They’re looking years ahead and they’re laying the groundwork for their new world order.

Alex Tsakiris: Let me play the Damon Vickers side of that argument if I could. I can’t do him justice but it’s like, you know what, Jim? You’re a competent guy. You’re a hard-working guy. But most people aren’t. And even if you accept that there are a lot of hard-working, good people in the United States, if we look around the world, it’s a mess. You go to Haiti; you’ve got a huge population problem. They’re one of the fastest growing countries in this hemisphere and yet they’re the poorest and the most dysfunctional.

So I’m Damon Vickers. I say we need a new world order. We need population control. All the things you say are the motivations behind this in the smoky rooms in the back, yeah, they’re the motivations, but the reason is because you guys can’t do it. You can’t handle it. You can’t face up to doing what you really have to do. So for the greater good yeah, we’re just going to manage things because hey, that’s what needs to get done.

Jim Marrs: Well, that’s true. The politicians totally understand this and this is why it’s the old joke about how you can tell if a politician is lying to you—his mouth is moving. Now that sounds like a joke and yet unfortunately it’s very true. The reason for that is that no one apparently can get elected to office in this country by telling the truth.

Alex Tsakiris: Absolutely.

Jim Marrs: So then we have to ask, well then who’s to blame? The politicians who lie to us or the population that only wants to hear lies?

Alex Tsakiris: That puts us in a pretty sorry state in terms of having any chance of turning this around.

Jim, what’s coming up for you in terms of appearances in the near future?

Jim Marrs: Actually I’m going to go on hiatus here trying to come up with a new book, trying to bring everything forward a little bit. Right now the only thing I have coming up is Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland Festival in Nashville, Tennessee in the end of June. That’s always been quite a successful event every year. This year looks like it’s going to be just bigger and better than ever, so I would recommend anyone that’s in the Nashville area or can get to the Nashville area, you might want to check out the Dreamland Festival.

Alex Tsakiris: Great. And of course we’ll look for you on your numerous TV and radio appearances. It’s always good to catch up with what’s going on in your world. You have so many great angles on the recent events and you’ve shared some of them with us today. Jim, thanks so much for joining me.

Jim Marrs: Thank you, Alex. It’s been a pleasure to be with you. Good day.

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