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On Truth-Seeking

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Butler Shaffer
Lew Rockwell Blog
July 19, 2014

President Obama was on all network channels today addressing the crash or missile attack involving a Malaysian airliner. He stressed the need to find the truth and, at the same time, to avoid propaganda. No rational person can disagree with this. But he then proceeded to speculate – as no evidence has yet been produced – that this atrocity was caused either by Russia, or by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukraine. In other words, “U.S. speculation = ‘truth,’ and those who offer a different interpretation are engaging in propaganda.” You can see how difficult it will be to come anywhere near a truthful explanation of this event, when the inquiry is left in the hands of political speculators.

The approach I take in my teaching and speaking is grounded not so much in the search foranswers, as it is the for the refinement of the questions we ask. With this admonition in mind, here are some guidelines I would suggest all of us carry with us in this inquiry:

1. Begin by asking the “cui bono” question (i.e., who would benefit from this evil act?) If your spouse is found murdered, guess who the police will begin questioning? This does not mean that you committed the crime, only that you might be more likely to have an ill-motive than would a homeless man in Yazoo City. Try applying this initial question to the attacks on the World Trade Center and see to which parties the cui bono question would apply. In using this approach in the current Malaysian airliner disaster, honest minds might want to include the parties who would have benefitted from the well-documented 1960s “Operation Northwoods” conspiracy!

2. As you listen to American politicians – from the president on down – offering their speculations-as-fact, bear in mind the observations of such men as George Carlin and Kurt Vonnegut, who reminded us to “never believe anything the government tells you.” Apply this same test to officials of other governments as well, and to the toadies whose job it is to parrot the establishment line to you via the media.

3. Keep uppermost in your thoughts the advice common among many Englishmen: “never accept anything as ‘true’ until it has been officially denied.”

4. Should you question the politically-directed, media-communicated, “consensus-based” definitions of reality, you may be accused of advocating “conspiracy theories.” Do not be intimidated by such attacks on your mind. There have been, and continue to be, conspiracies engaged in by people who desire to control your life, and want to keep that fact from you. I prefer the approach taken by the late Chris Tame: “I am not interested in conspiracytheories; I am interested in the facts of conspiracies.” (An introduction to such “facts” can be found in the efforts of Chelsea Manning, Ed Snowden, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and many other truth-tellers who have made the substance of corporate-state conspiracies quite clear. Those who deny the existence of conspiracies appear to be unburdened by studies of history – whether from Roman or later Italian times, the Nazi Holocaust, or an abundance of more recent schemes for power.

5. Do not fall for any “Blue-Ribbon Commission,” to be set up and run by the political establishment, to provide a “bipartisan” inquiry into this latest atrocity. How much credibility would you give to a Mafia-run inquiry into the nature of organized crime in America? Why would you have any more confidence in a government panel studying itself?

6. If you have any interest in the implications of all of this for the future of the world in which you and your children/grandchildren will live, bear in mind the observation of Andre Malraux: “A civilization can be defined at once by the basic questions it asks and by those it does not ask.”

This article was posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 5:02 am

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