Talk:9/11 conspiracy theories/Archive 33

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Archive 32 Archive 33 Archive 34

The Reflecting Pool and Able Danger the movie

The quotes thrown out in the Able Danger Section argument seems to make the movies candidates for the "In the Popular Culture" section, although since the Able Danger movie is red linked it might not be notable enough. What are the sources for the quotes?. Edkollin (talk) 20:26, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Restoring No Planes theory to previous version

I'm restoring the No Planes theory to the version of February 23, 2012.[1] This is the version that has been in the article for at least a year.[2] The new version has several problems. It cites several unreliable sources, including 911research.wtc7.net, and 911review.com. None of the cites appear to be reliable, at best, they're primary sources but there's absolutely no reason why we should be citing primary sources when secondary reliable sources exist. Also, the rewrite seems pretty POV. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:24, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

There was discussion after the changes were made AQFK. You were "boycotting" Wikipedia at the time so you didn't get involved in the discussion. I will tell you what I told Joel, conspiracist sources are reliable for describing the beliefs of conspiracists. Such a principle is consistent with WP:PSTS, the wording you restored gives undue weight to these theories by just providing the quotes of these individuals and only noting deep in the paragraph that this is rejected by most conspiracy theorists. The stuff about discussion of the theories being "banned" and advocates being "threatened" is not only inaccurate, but inflammatory, the source cited plainly provides that this occasionally happens, something the restored wording does not note. As long as this material is included it needs to be explicit about the fringe nature of the theories within the conspiracist community. We have a true fringe-of-the-fringe theory here and it needs to be treated as such. Save for removing it entirely, this is the only appropriate way to deal with the issue, not how it is dealt with under the restored wording.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 14:26, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

And, I will tell you again what I told you back then -- a 9/11 conspiracy cite is not a reliable source for citing what percentage of Truthers believe in theory X vs. theory Y. There's no indication of a poll taken, or a study, or anything else. It's just a "fact" as stated by the author of a 9/11 blog, it is patently ridiculous to argue that such a site is a reliable source for making a factual claim. Mind you, I am not arguing that the majority of Truthers believe in the no planes theory, only that this type of source does nothing to point one way or the other.JoelWhy (talk) 12:17, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Conspiracist sources are only appropriate to illustrate something found in reliable secondary sources. Otherwise, we would be synthesizing from primary sources our own description of 9/11 conspriacy theories. That's original reserach. Tom Harrison Talk 17:34, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
It is not original research to provide a primary source and sum up what it says. WP:OR applies to analysis and conclusions, not statements of fact. Using a conspiracist source that says "most conspiracy theorists reject this theory" to verify the statement "most conspiracy theorists reject this theory" is a perfectly valid use of such a source. We use conspiracist sources all over this article and that is fine because it is perfectly consistent with policy, so long as the material we write is neutral and descriptive.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:24, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
No, that's not the case. Reading primary sources and summarizing what they say is original research. Tom Harrison Talk 19:31, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
@The Devil's Advocate: There are literaly hundreds (if not thousands) of secondary reliable sources on this topic. There shouldn't be a need to use primary sources. If something is important, then surely secondary sources will have covered it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:53, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
There aren't hundreds of sources about the no-planes theories and that is what we are talking about here. As to Tom's comment, that is not accurate, it is only original research if, well, the material is original. Saying "this is what conspiracy theorists believe" and citing a major conspiracy theorist source that says the same thing is not original research.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:09, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
@The Devil's Advocate: Probably, but that doesn't matter. The fact remains that if this worth including, then secondary sources will have covered it. If you're saying that there are no secondary sources, then it fails WP:WEIGHT. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:13, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
WP:WEIGHT does not work like that. Failing to clearly note right off the bat that this does not represent the views of the majority of 9/11 conspiracy theorists would be giving the no-planes theory undue weight. Noting that most 9/11 conspiracy theorists reject this theory is giving it due weight. Using a conspiracist source to establish this is perfectly acceptable because it only describes the views of the conspiracy theorists, rather than backing up evidentiary claims about any specific conspiracy theory.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:34, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it does work like that. If you don't believe me, go ask the editors at WP:NPOV. Also, see WP:FRINGE where it plainly states, "Claims must be based upon independent reliable sources". So this fails both WP:WEIGHT and WP:FRINGE. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:42, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That is putting an excessive and simplistic emphasis on the letter of part of the guideline without regard to the spirit of the entire guideline. It is not to be taken as "only independent sources may be used for verification" but instead taken as "independent sources must be used to make contentious claims about fringe theories" and that does not apply in this situation. We use fringe sources all the time in these types of articles, when it is done for the purpose of describing the beliefs of advocates, which is what we are talking about here.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:02, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Per WP:UNDUE my changes to the section about the no-planes theory should be restored. The current wording does not clearly emphasize that these theories have no currency among 9/11 conspiracy theorists and it mostly consists of quotes from the proponents arguing for their position, it also includes misleading or inaccurate claims about the reaction of other 9/11 conspiracy theorists that paints them in an overly negative light. The material has very little sourcing to back it up in the first place and the no-planes theory clearly has minimal support amongst conspiracy theorists. If editors are not going to allow the material to emphasize the fringe nature of this theory within the conspiracist community then all mention of the no-planes theory should be removed from the article altogether, the current wording cannot stand as it runs afoul of WP:UNDUE.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:18, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Did you ask the editors at WP:NPOV or WP:FRINGE to explain it to you? What did they say? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:32, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
DA, I'm not sure how any objective reader could view that section and walk away with the belief that this is a "mainstream" theory w/in Truther circles. It specifically states "Truth movement veterans have repeatedly refuted the "no-plane" claims.] Discussion of no plane theories have been banned from certain conspiracy theory websites while advocates have been threatened with violence by posters at other conspiracy theory websites." If you want to add a statement which specifically states "most Truthers don't believe this theory" you need a notable source. The source you provided will not suffice, some Tuther blogger making a statement -- even a statement about what Truthers do or do not believe -- is insufficient. Think about it -- how did this blogger come to this conclusion? Scientific poll? Some type of formalized study? Or, just his/her experiences speaking to Truthers (See anecdotal evidence).
But, again, I really think you need to try reading the paragraph again for the first time. Of all the things that pain Truthers in a negative light within this article (the first and foremost being that they believe in any of the 9/11 CTs), this just doesn't make the list, it just shows that many Truthers who frequent forums are adamantly against this theory.JoelWhy (talk) 20:38, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and another problem with citing 9/11 CTs sources is that you're not allowed to use them to make claims about third-parties. See WP:SELFPUB. So, this fails WP:WEIGHT, WP:FRINGE and WP:SELFPUB. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:46, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

I am re-adding the material with this source: [3], the pertinent quote is "it should tell you something when even died-in-the-wool woomeisters like the tinfoil hat brigade that believes that 9/11 was a massive government conspiracy . . . fear being tarnished by association with you" and this clearly is not a conspiracist site. Indeed, it was cited above to argue for keeping the section, the Yoda source is also being cited to back up the claims about conspiracy theorist views.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:21, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Which source is it that supports "A small minority?" A quote would be helpful. Tom Harrison Talk 01:26, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
@Devil's Advocate: Per WP:BRD, I'm reverting your bold edit. Temporarily ignoring the issue of whether this is a reliable source, your edit seems to be based on a single sentence out of a rather lengthy article, but this sentence doesn't say anything about "A small minority of conspiracy theorists argue that no planes were used in the attacks?" In fact, the central thesis of this article seems to have nothing to do with how it's being used. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:40, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
As much as I love Respectful Insolence, are you really trying to cite a blog again? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Were this a theory that actually gets many major mentions in reliable sources, such sources wouldn't be the only things we have. Unfortunately, the no-planes theories are only briefly mentioned in a handful of other sources, since editors were insisting on including the material here despite this fact, we have to work with what we've got.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 14:30, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I can't make heads or tails of what all this back and forth is about. Neither version of the article implies that this is a theory most Truthers believe (and, based on the info included, I don't see how anyone can read this article and make such a conclusion.) DA, I just don't understand what it is in this section that makes you feel it is biased.JoelWhy (talk) 14:47, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm....don't most 9/11 CTs believe that a missle (not a plane) hit the Pentagon? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:51, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think that is true, but even so we actually do mention that theory in some detail in the Pentagon section, because it gets lots of mentions in reliable sources and has been advocated by prominent theorists.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 15:06, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
The wording that keeps getting restored provides long quotes from the proponents without putting them in context as minority views amongst conspiracy theorists that are rejected by a large number of conspiracy theorists. Saying "Truth Movement veterans" does not actually imply that the majority reject it as "veterans" would mean a smaller group, the wording about "discussion being banned" is plainly unsupported by the sources as the only citation mentioning bans says advocates are sometimes banned. In describing "bans" and "threats" in the way that wording does it makes the no-planes theorists seem like victims who are being targeted by a gang of intolerant truthers. None of that gives the theories, or its advocates, due weight.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 15:06, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
OK, changed it to include the word "sometimes" as that's what the source says. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:50, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

What I take from the sources in this revert[4] is that some conspiracy theorists wish other conspiracy theorists would shut up, because they're discrediting the movement. One group wishes very much to minimize, sideline, and dissociate from the other group, but it's not clear to me that these sources tell us much about the relative size of the two groups, especially if we don't limit the article to what middle-class American guys on the internet think. Tom Harrison Talk 15:24, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, thus far, no reliable source has been shown which provides the relative size of the 'no planers' group. I agree that it likely is a minority, and reading this Wiki section, I walk away with this same belief. However, I don't have a reliable source that says what percentage do or do not believe in the no plane theory, which is why it cannot be added to the article.JoelWhy (talk) 15:29, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
The most recent change I made did not do that so I am not sure why that argument is being used by Tom.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 16:59, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

9/11 Media Fakery cited in an Oregon news publication.

The documentary "September Clues" points out the use of Actors used as witnesses and demonstrates evidence of fabrication of the 9/11 imagery. A story on the documentary and its creator has been published in Salem News in Oregon.

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/september122010/911-reflections-ew.php

9/11 Media Fakery is a fairly prominent allegation on the internet. It probably deserves a more accurate article than simply "no planes theory". It's more than just animated planes, it points out facts such as all but one "amateur" cameraman being connected to the media industry, multiple photographs meant to be from different photographers that share identical perspectives and capture the same instant in time, irrefutable evidence that the same audio track has been used in multiple videos, etc.

Looking forward to the excuse as to why this isn't up to Wikipedia standards, blah blah, etc. I know this material isn't allowed here. And it should be pretty obvious why this subject is banned from most 9/11 "truther" sites.

Thanks.72.224.189.211 (talk) 14:12, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

The source is a "mainstream" paper and the article is espousing 9/11 conspiracy theories. So it is despite the editor who published this source lack of goodfaith it is a legitimate topic for talk page discussion, that being said adding a topic that is the subject of one article in local paper is WP:UNDUE 99% of the time. Edkollin (talk) 20:36, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Salem-news.com is not a mainstream paper. The Salem News, found at SalemNews.com, is a legitimate newspaper. But, it's entirely unrelated to the fringe Salem-News.com site.JoelWhy (talk) 20:49, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Edkollin (talk) 21:30, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Categories for 9/11 CT article

Should the article include the categories for denialism, pseudoscience, and/or pseudohistory?--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:11, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose all pseudoscience and pseudohistory, Weak support denialism categories per WP:NPOV and WP:CAT. It has not been demonstrated that these terms are widely used in reliable sources as "defining characteristics" of the subject. A handful of sources are not sufficient. Similarly per WP:FRINGE any criticism "should be reported on relative to the visibility, notability, and reliability of the sources that do the criticizing" rather than based on whether a group of editors think the criticism is true, despite a lack of verification.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:21, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
After scouring through about 20 pages of search results for each term I have found at least some consistent use of the "denialism" definition, but I am still coming up empty on non-trivial mentions of pseudoscience and pseudohistory in reliable sources with even trivial mentions being rare.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:43, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support all, except marginal neutral on pseudohistory. The vast majority of reliable sources don't use these specific terms, about this subject, or anything else. However, no reliable sources object, and some do use the specific terms as defining characteristics for this subject. "A handful of sources are not sufficient" is not part of the criteria. — Arthur Rubin (talk) Sorry about not dating my !vote. The precise time doesn't seem important.
Actually, WP:CAT does quite clearly address that here:
So far no one has demonstrated that a single reliable source actually uses any of these labels.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 17:16, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, that's not true. Sources were provided in the discussion above. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:38, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
You provided two sources that didn't define the subject as denialism.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 17:46, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I provided one source (Tom provided the other): How the growth of denialism undermines public health. It's ironic that you deny this in a discussion about denial. BTW, please don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point. If you don't like the sources that have been provided, you can do a Google search yourself. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with not liking them and I am not "denying" anything. The sources simply don't define the subject as denialism, the one above is referring to AIDS Denialism. Though behind a paywall, the search results indicate that the reference is to 9/11 conspiracy theories and only noting some common beliefs with AIDS denialists. Also, I did a Google search and save for a few "skeptic" articles nothing used the term denialism to define the 9/11 conspiracy theories.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:36, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support all - Already explained above. They fit the category definitions and are sourced. End of story. Toa Nidhiki05 01:28, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Uh, sorry, where are they sourced?--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 17:48, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support denialism and pseudoscience The terms actually are in sources although it has been debated above. Also, they are not necessarily labels but instead useful navigational tools.Cptnono (talk) 01:37, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak support of psuedoscience only. While not many sources say pseudoscience directly there are many sources debunking the 9/11 CT's on scientific grounds. Weak support because I still would rather see more sources saying the word itself. Different from the denialism arguments which is just editors believing it fits the definition, one paper and one headline writer, with psuedohistory too early not really any sources. Edkollin (talk) 02:37, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support denialism and pseudoscience, per above. Seems a bit early for pseudohistory. —ArtifexMayhem (talk) 02:38, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support for denialism, weak support for pseudoscience, oppose pseudohistory. Denialism is clear, it's a textbook case as many have mentioned above. About pseudoscience, many if not all conspiracy theories use bad/anti/pseudoscience, that's one of the reasons they are called conspiracy theories. While it fits the criteria, I don't really see any source, the article for example is also not listed here. It's too early for pseudohistory which, if I understand correctly is more about long term evolution of societies. --McSly (talk) 02:54, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the first two Pseudohistory is a word I've never used. In fact I don't think I've ever seen it before. Have to think about that one a bit more. HiLo48 (talk) 03:07, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the first two though I do think pseudohistory also fits and am certainly not opposed to that one either. Mystylplx (talk) 03:31, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support denialism and pseudoscience; tend to agree with Edkollin about pseudohistory. Tom Harrison Talk 19:23, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support all 9/11 conspiracy theorists clearly deny the reality of 9/11. Contrary to the claims made by a single editor, there are sources for all three: denialism psueduoscience and psuedohistory. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:33, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I suggest people see my response on AQFK's talk page regarding those sources. Also, again, the standard is that of reliable sources, plural, "commonly and consistently" defining the subject this way.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:40, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose all: The categories are more meant to judge the opinions of people in the 9/11 truth movement than they are meant for education. I also think since we are still fighting the so-called War on Terrorism, 9/11 can't really be considered a historical event since its effects are still being directly realized so that for reason alone, the 'pseudohistory' tag is unwarranted. I mean hell, the hole in New York City still isn't completely rebuilt over yet! 'Denialism' is an incredibly harsh judgment category that is imo only worthy of the Flat Earth Society and people who don't think Hitler killed anyone. I wouldn't even label Holocaust revisionists denialists, that's how harsh I see the term as being as an academic accusation. Nor would I consider global warming skeptics denialists, I would just say they are, like believers in the Steady State universe theory, in the minority and have the evidence against them. Contrarians, yes, but not deniers. The reason why is because scientific theories, while far more than the wild guesses Creationists believe them to be, are not factual, but simply explain things extremely well. Recent news is showing that even Einstein's theory of relativity might be proven wrong in some ways; so imo to go up against a theory is almost never denialism, since there's usually a small chance the contrarians might actually be correct.

I'm not completely convinced about the truther theories myself, I think the truth could fall anywhere in between the government's account and the more extreme versions of conspiracy theories; it's likely in the middle somewhere.

My opposition for these tags is that they are meant to confer a judgment on people who question the official account of the United States government, rather than trying to actually be educational, they are also trying to imply that 9/11 truthers hate Jews and the categories were purposely selected by the person who added them to compare people in the Truth movement to Neo-Nazis. IMO, unless that judgment is obviously warranted, such as say, calling David Duke an anti-Semite, which is extremely obvious and factual, judgment categories should be avoided as much as possible. Abootmoose (talk) 21:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose all: Pseudohistory because the topic is not historical. The others because they have little substance, they appear to be little more than a means of making personal attacks, for example, an insignificant number of sources are used to justify them while the same editors reject a large number of sources for the Reichstag fire comparison as being insufficient. The sources dont support that the pseudoscience and denialism categories are commonly applied. We do not have a one size fits all conspiracy theory, not all conspiracy theories can legitimately be placed in those categories anyway. Wayne (talk) 07:23, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Why not? As I see it, every person who doesn't like the official explanation is denying the truth of it. That's denialism. What's the problem with my logic there? HiLo48 (talk) 07:36, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
You could well say that every person who doesn't believe in global warming is denying the truth of it. That's not denialism. Thats personal interpretation of sometimes ambiguous data despite much of the evidence supporting the case. Foreknowledge, insider trading and other related conspiracy theories can not be disproven by the "official explanation". We also have the problem that some engineers have rejected NISTS computor simulations in a peer reviewed journal, it is indisputable that some kind of coverup was in place to hide incompetence (thats a conspiracy theory as well) and the 9/11 Commission said as much. Too many holes to allow us to generalise the theories. If you want a separate page for each theory then they could be categorized as appropriate. Wayne (talk) 09:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's a valid perspective. Unfortunately, I guess it both includes everybody all at once, and also allows individuals to say "Well, that's not precisely my view, so it doesn't include me". Tricky. HiLo48 (talk) 10:03, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Global warming denial is most certainly denialism and the Wikipedia article on climate change denial is in category denialism. Mystylplx (talk) 16:17, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support all for the reasons cited above.JoelWhy (talk) 15:14, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose pseudoscience and pseudohistory; support denialism. "Pseudoscience" refers to broad theories about the natural world. The 9/11 truthers may make incidental use of disputes about the melting point of materials or the like, but it's certainly not a defining characteristic of their work, which is mainly about a particular event, not about the natural world. "Pseudohistory" must relate to history, which for this purpose means more than just "something that happened in the past" -- I agree with Abootmoose and Wayne that this topic doesn't qualify, at least not yet. (No, I don't know exactly when it will cross the line.) "Denialism" requires only that there be a rejection of a generally accepted view of the facts. That's also an element of calling something a "conspiracy theory" so maybe Category:Conspiracy theories should be made a subcat of Category:Denialism, until that happens, this article belongs in Category:Denialism. JamesMLane t c 20:39, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Isn't 9/11 a historic event? The article's topic is a false interpretation of an historic event. That sounds like pseudohistory to me. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:59, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Obviously 9/11 is an event of historical importance. To me, though, "pseudohistory" has a connotation of not referring to current or recent matters, for example, consider the Bush administration's false claims about Iraq (WMD's, support for al-Qaeda, etc.). These were false statements about a matter of historical importance but I wouldn't call them pseudohistory. (Our article on Niger uranium forgeries isn't categorized under pseudohistory.) I call this a connotation of the term "pseudohistory" because I don't claim to know a bright-line test for when a current dispute passes into the realm of history. JamesMLane t c 21:48, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
History is anything that happened in the past. The attacks on 9/11 is an historical event today; and, it was an historical event on Sept. 12, 2001. Obviously, in many circumstances, whether an event has any historical importance may not become apparent immediately. And, our understanding of an historical event may change over time. But, the only bright-line test for when something becomes history is whether it's already happened.JoelWhy (talk) 22:23, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

JamesMLane said: "Denialism" requires only that there be a rejection of a generally accepted view of the facts. That's also an element of calling something a "conspiracy theory" so maybe Category:Conspiracy theories should be made a subcat of Category:Denialism, until that happens, this article belongs in Category:Denialism.

I, Abootmoose (talk) 21:12, 24 January 2012 (UTC), say no, no, no. I completely, passionately disagree. Denialism is denying something that is absurd to deny. If denialism was defined as a rejection of the generally accepted view of the facts, than people who questioned the idea that the Earth is flat, prior to when we learned otherwise, would be the denialists, not the Flat Earth Society. Also, something being a conspiracy theory doesn't automatically mean it's incorrect, though the term is usually used as a pejorative in this day and age. You forget that some conspiracies, such as Watergate, turned out to be proven true. Actually, even the official explanation of 9/11 is technically a conspiracy theory since it revolves around the belief that Al-Qaeda conspired to blow up the WTC and destroy the White House and Pentagon. So to label ALL conspiracy theories would be far more intolerable than just labelling 9/11 ones alone. Bad, bad idea to bracket conspiracy theories into the denialist category. Abootmoose (talk) 21:12, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I strongly agree with one of your points, which I myself have made elsewhere -- that the "official" explanation of 9/11 could be characterized as a conspiracy theory in the sense that it involves a conspiracy. As the term "conspiracy theory" is actually used, however, it means a theory that (a) involves a conspiracy, and (b) goes contrary to a widely accepted view, and (c) is wrong, and (d) is not merely wrong, but absurdly wrong. No one would use the term "conspiracy theory" about the 9/11 Commission's report or about blaming Watergate on Republican operatives.
The conclusion I drew, but didn't bother repeating here, is that no Wikipedia article should have a title like "___ conspiracy theories", because those titles are inherently POV. I'd retitle them all, the category could be called "Unorthodox theories" or the like.
As for denialism, our article on Denialism says that it's "choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth...." Thus, both Category:Denialism and Category:Conspiracy theories have, as an element of the definition, that Wikipedians have decided collectively that the views included in the category are false. As long as we have a Category:Conspiracy theories, therefore, it seems that everything in it would also fit under Category:Denialism. JamesMLane t c 06:31, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that is wrong. Being outside the mainstream is not the same as being false and it shouldn't be regarded as interchangeable.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 16:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you as a matter of seeking the truth. As a practical matter of how these Wikipedia categories are defined and applied, though, I'm saying that, for a theory to be admitted to either category, there must be a general feeling among Wikipedians that it's false and "outside the mainstream"/fringe/crackpot/absurd/etc. By contrast, if a theory is disputed but there's thought to be a colorable argument on each side, it wouldn't get into either of these categories.
Anyway, I'm fundamentally unhappy with the very existence of Category:Conspiracy theories (because it has a strong connotation of falsity but some of them might turn out to be true). Therefore, I'm not going to invest time in any proposal to move it under Category:Denialism as a subcat. We can probably just let this aspect of the discussion die. JamesMLane t c 08:44, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Strong support for denialism as per all of the comments above (it is a denial of the commonly-accepted mainstream view of the subject).
Support for pseudoscience (as pseudoscience, especially in the field of engineering, is usually used in an attempt to back up the denialist claims (e.g. about the shape of holes, about the collapse of buildings, about the melting point of metals).
Ambivalent about "pseudohistory", because I'm unfamiliar with the term. What is it, anyways? Revisionism? St John Chrysostom view/my bias 14:43, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Comment Denialism goes hand-in-hand with conspiracy theory ("Oh no, they're all trying to hide WP:TRUTH by presenting the commonly-held view!"). St John Chrysostom view/my bias 14:43, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support The first two, I have never heard of the third. Darkness Shines (talk) 16:16, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Oppose All - As others have said, it is too early to have objectively judged the events of 911, therefore not yet 'history'. I don't believe 'history' is a science either. There are many alternative histories, including the official one. 'History' is certainly not an objective certainty. 'Denialism' is defined in tis WP article as a denial of reality - that again depends on your subjective view of what reality is. If 'Denialism' was denial of the official version of the truth, I would have a different opinion, but we are all still too close to the events to judge what is actually true and, as such, we are entitled to accept some things and reject others. All three categories are thinly veiled attacks on the proponents of the alternative theories, which puts Wikipedia on one side of the argument rather than an objective commentator. Sionk (talk) 16:41, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose all, especially denialism: Per Abootmoose. This stirs up prejudice. Let's not be judgmental about article content when the title itself states 'theories' which would be enough, the categories raise WP:POV issues. --lTopGunl (talk) 09:38, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support denialism and pseudoscience, per above. -BoogaLouie (talk) 18:27, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment On pseudoscience, beyond the lack of sourcing for the label, there is a general inappropriateness to the label. I am not going to suggest that some 9/11 conspiracy theories do not include pseudoscientific claims like what JohnChrysostom noted, but this does not make those theories pseudoscience as a whole and it certainly does not mean all the theories should be labeled with the category. Any time a lay person questions the official version of an event it is likely that there where will be unscientific claims made and spread due to poor understanding of the science, this does not mean it should be automatically regarded as pseudoscience. More importantly, not all of the conspiracy theories incorporate these misguided views if they even address the scientific questions at all. Is someone alleging LIHOP or simple aiding and abetting really engaged in pseudoscience? WP:FRINGE expects that labels like "pseudoscience" be backed by reliable sources and not just a few here and there, but something indicating this is a commonly understood characteristic of the subject as a whole.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:17, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support all After reading some sources on the meaning of these terms, all seem to fit the methods and conclusions of 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Niremetal (talk) 13:41, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Mention of Reichstag fire comparison

Should the section for "Suggested historical precedents" include the Reichstag Fire as a common comparison made by conspiracy theorists?--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Support This has been disputed above, on several user talk pages, and on DRN. Here is the last iteration of the insertion: [5], as you can see the source used is from The Nation and spends two paragraph dealing with the Reichstag comparison and uses it as a segue to a general comment on 9/11 conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists in general. On top of that source mentioning the comparison are the following sources: [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. The New York Post, Popular Mechanics, and Weekly Standard mentions are especially significant, the Post notes the comparison in relation to a comment by Keith Ellison and spends lot of time connecting it to conspiracy theories. Popular Mechanics cites an article on the conspiracist website Rense criticizing a piece on the conspiracy theories by suggesting Popular Mechanics was covering up the "truth" in the way German media are alleged to have done with the Reichstag, the Weekly Standard mention is significant because it attributes the comparison to David Ray Griffin who is known as a very prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorist. On top of this, there is the fact that the comparison is featured in the film Zeitgeist: The Movie as noted in a previous diff. What is most telling is the number of times when the Reichstag comparison is the only one noted, and noted significantly, as well as the fact it is consistently mentioned in other sources while other comparisons pop up much less often.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:15, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose if it is like this A simple mention should not be a problem. However, the additional commentary by Hayes comes across to me as needless bloat that reads like an attempt to win over minds to a certain viewpoint.Cptnono (talk) 19:30, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
It was meant to address concerns by another editor that the mainstream view of these historical events was not getting covered. Since Hayes also used the comparison to state a general criticism of conspiracy theories I thought it was worthy of mentioning.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:37, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
You have been provided with my reasoning for not supporting.Cptnono (talk) 19:38, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support i would say. It is a comparison that is made a lot. Abootmoose (talk) 22:02, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:UNDUE. This is rarely mentioned in reliable sources in connection to this topic. Conspiracy proponents point to numerous historical precidents including:
    and probably many more I can't think of off the top of my head. It's unrealistic to have an entire section devoted to each and every one of these claimed precidents. Instead, we should just pick one representative example. Currently, a representative example is already in the article, Operation Northwoods. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:14, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with A Quest For Knowledge that we should use one representative example. If people think the Reichstag fire is a better example than Operation Northwoods then I wouldn't be opposed to removing Operation Northwoods and replacing it with the Reichstag fire, but I would oppose adding it without removing Operation Northwoods. I think that section probably doesn't belong as it is barely pertinent to the topic of the article. Mystylplx (talk) 22:25, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Both should be included because they go to different ideas. Northwoods has its own unique significance to the conspiracy theories as does the Reichstag fire, the Maine, Gulf of Tonkin, and other real or alleged false-flag incidents are generally just given as random throw-away examples and at best deserve a brief mention all in one sentence. On the other hand Northwoods is used as a model for certain aspects of the conspiracy theories, while the Reichstag fire taps into a very different motive than any of the other examples, the Reichstag fire is prominently linked to the creation of Hitler's dictatorship and many conspiracy theorists see parallels between the Enabling Acts and the Patriot Act. Given all the major reliable sources repeatedly linking this unique comparison to the conspiracy theories it seems bizarre to suggest it shouldn't be mentioned at all or that somehow only one comparison should be mentioned when Northwoods is similarly significant.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 02:19, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what particular significance either one has. I'll concede the Reichstag fire is more similar in that it was a conspiracy theory about a false flag operation. My point was that this article is on 911 conspiracy theories, not on all the false flag conspiracy theories that have ever been. Both of those already have their own articles--their relevance to this article is dubious at best. Mystylplx (talk) 03:33, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. The Reichstag comparison is potentially interesting to readers, is commonly made by conspiracy theorists, and occasionally noted in reliable secondary sources, as such, a brief mention of such a comparison, with specific attribution, would add to the article. Anything more than that is likely to be undue weight. I also disagree that we should pick only one representative example: indeed a sentence each on a range of examples (3-4?) far better illustrates to readers the nature of conspiracy theorists' beliefs than a paragraph on just one example. Geometry guy 23:35, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: To rely on "rarely mentioned in reliable sources" is disingenious as WP:RS clearly says unreliable sources can be used for their own beliefs which leaves up with tens of thousands of websites on top of the dozens of accepted RS. The comparisons should be kept as brief as possible, a summary of the belief rather than any detail. Wayne (talk) 07:36, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
A better question is why is it relevant to this article? The fact that it is sometimes mentioned by conspiracy theorists is not enough. Another argument that is sometimes mentioned by conspiracy theorists is that no buildings have ever collapsed by fire before ... should we have a section on that and briefly mention every building that has caught fire and not collapsed (the conspiracy theorists sometimes mention them) or should we have a section on pyroclastic flows? The conspiracy theorists sometimes claim there were pyroclastic flows on 911, but that doesn't mean it deserves space in this article. The fact is there are hundreds of arguments and claims that are sometimes mentioned by conspiracy theorists, but that doesn't mean that each and every one needs to have its own section in this article. What we have done so far is to only mention the most prevalent aspects of the CT's and those that have been mentioned in RS's. If we start trying to bring in every single claim or argument conspiracy theorists have made this article will become bloated to the point of unreadability. Claims for historical precedents are among the more minor claims, the two examples I gave above are both more prevalent and if they don't deserve space in the article (and they don't) then claims of historical precedents certainly don't deserve space in the article either. Mystylplx (talk) 16:41, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
You are blowing things out of proportion. The most I proposed for the Reichstag fire comparison was a paragraph, that mostly focused on a reliable source using it as an example to criticize conspiracy theories, it is mentioned numerous times in reliable sources, several times in significant detail, so that justifies some inclusion. Other claims of false flag attacks like with the Maine and Gulf of Tonkin are not mentioned nearly as much so at best a short sentence mentioning these and others would be acceptable, though perhaps there should be a list page created for real and alleged false flag operations and we should send people there to look at most of the other incidents. What makes the Reichstag comparison significant is it is the only one commonly mentioned that involves a domestic political motive, while the others focus on foreign policy motives that are already covered well with Northwoods and the "new Pearl Harbor" mentions in the article. I should say it is not just sometimes mentioned either. David Ray Griffin is one of the lead 9/11 conspiracy theorists and he uses that comparison, Zeitgeist: the Movie includes this comparison in some detail, and numerous other conspiracy theorists cite this as a precedent, it is not only the frequency of the comparisons, but the depth of them that matters. Most other comparisons are throw-aways like I said. A single paragraph in an article this big is not giving undue weight to anything and there are plenty of sources to back up that it is a significant detail concerning the subject.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:08, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
A Google news archives search on "Reichstag fire 911" turns up 40 results. A search of the same news archive on "One Meridian Plaza Fire 911" turns up 240 results. One Meridian Plaza is one of those other buildings I mentioned that caught fire and didn't collapse that truthers like to point to. I think this illustrates my point very well, the entire section should really be removed, not added to. Mystylplx (talk) 20:24, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that there's a stronger argument to removing the section than expanding it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:00, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
@Wayne: The issue here is not verifiability, but weight. The Reichstag Fire is largely ignored by secondary reliable sources. If it's so important, why is it being ignored so much? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:05, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I tire of this tendency to use raw Google hits to try and argue weight and notability (keep in mind that Google News can bring up various non-notable or unreliable news sources, not to mention duplicate results, that are not generally useful for evaluating weight and notability). If you add a slash to "911" and make it "9/11" you get nearly 350 results, but that isn't even the point, the actual results you get are more valuable than just how many you get. Up above you can look over the sources I provided and see how prominent and significant the mentions have been, as to One Meridian Plaza, when I put that building's name in quotes so it will only bring up results that specifically mention the building I get 11 results in Google News Archives and only one major source appears to make any mention of it directly in connection with the issue you mention, a trivial mention at that.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:36, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Cptnono argues that the Hayes material is "needless bloat that reads like an attempt to win over minds to a certain viewpoint." It is such an attempt but is not bloat. We report facts about significant opinions, and NPOV calls for a fair presentation of each conflicting opinion, including the principal facts relied upon, the 9/11 theorists draw an analogy to the Reichstag fire (and I agree with Wayne that in this article we can use non-RS conspiracy theorist sources for information about what those theorists themselves maintain). The Hayes material (as per this edit) is a mainstream presentation of the opposing view concerning the analogy. We shouldn't get into detail about the Reichstag fire, but these two sentences aren't unduly long and are illuminating about the mainstream reaction to conspiracy theories, as for the question posed by A Quest For Knowledge above, the secondary reliable sources generally give short shrift to conspiracy theories; that's part of why we call them conspiracy theories in the first place. The Reichstag comparison would be undue weight in the article about the attacks themselves but is not undue weight in the article about the conspiracy theories. JamesMLane t c 21:18, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • 9/11 conspiracy theories are very notable and have received plenty of coverage by secondary reliable sources. A Google News Archive search gives me 6,000 hits on 9/11 conspiracy theories.[11] When I add Reichstag fire to the search terms, I only get back 7 hits.[12] When literally 99.9% of sources ignore something, that's a good sign of something that's not worth including. In fact, there's a stronger argument to remove this section from the article than expanding it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:27, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
For heaven's sake AQFK, I already explained to you before that your search terms exclude numerous probable results. Not every source will say "9/11 conspiracy theories" in those exact terms but will instead say something like "9/11 conspiracy theorists" or "conspiracy theories about 9/11" or maybe "9/11 Truthers" and those sources will not pop up in your search results, this is why raw google hits are never a good measure for these sorts of questions, because they can be so easily gamed to anyone's specific desires. It is especially irrelevant when you should already know that there are multiple major reliable sources not included in your results, given that I have explicitly linked to them here and on your own talk page as well as including some of those references in previous edits.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:50, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
And I already told you, my opinion that it's undue weight is based on the broad range of literature. It's unrealistic for me to ask someone to go read dozens or hundreds of articles, the Google News Archive search results are an nice way to easily judge relative weight. No, it's not perfect, but you haven't offered any other justification for this content. Yes, some of the search results aren't reliable or only contain trivial mentions, but a lot of them are reliable and provide significant coverage. Another way to judge weight is to look at tertiary sources but again, you haven't done this either. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:59, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and just to clarify, those are Google News Archive searches, not regular Google searches. WP:HITS doesn't apply. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:06, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
It always applies when you are only citing the raw hits from a search and not looking at the specific results. Actually, after my comment above I went and looked at the search results again and came up with several more major sources noting the comparison, that brings us to almost ten major reliable sources that I have provided here to back up the notability of the comparison, without considering those conspiracist sources I have noted that directly attest to its prominent use by 9/11 conspiracy theorists.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:18, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia:HITS doesn't saying anything about Google News Archive searches. As I already pointed out, there are literally hundreds, if not, thousands of reliable sources on this topic. A small handful of sources isn't particularly compelling. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:37, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Arguing that it does not mention "Google News Archive searches" is textbook wikilawyering. What matters are not how many sources are used but the quality of the mentions and the quality of the sources.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:55, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
The biggest problem with Google search results is that the vast majority of hits are not reliable sources. Google News Archive Searches - while not perfect - largely resolves this issue by only returning a very limited subset of sources, many of which are reliable. Consider the following: a regular Google search for "9/11 conspiracy theories" returns a whopping 4,960,000 results.[13] By contrast, a Google News Archive search for the exact same search string, returns only 5,320 results.[14] Pointing out this huge difference is hardly Wikilawyering. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:08, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
It is most definitely wikilawyering. Raw hits alone should not be the basis of an argument for notability or due weight period. Look at my response to Toa below on why 6,000 hits by itself means nothing.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:10, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
OK, if you think that it's most definitely wikilawyering, then you should file a request to enforce sanctions. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong or immoral about wikilawyering. Policies matter, they articulate common ground and help us to work together in improving the encyclopedia, in large part by indicating what "improving the encyclopedia" means. However, they are means to an end, not an end in themselves, and every time someone quotes a policy it should be clear why the particular application of the policy in that particular case will make the article better. Geometry guy 00:33, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
What? Are you seriously saying I have provided "no other justification" than search results? I have provided multiple major news sources that directly mention this comparison, several doing so in significant detail.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:18, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I missed some but I count two that mention it more than a single time in passing, and neither of those goes into any significant detail. Mystylplx (talk) 05:11, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm not knowledgeable on this issue, so I let the debate go on - as it did, it became clearer to me that this isn't notable even in the fringe Truther community. I therefore oppose this in any way, shape, or form being put in the article. Toa Nidhiki05 22:02, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
How did it "become clear" to you that this is the case? If you are looking at AQFK's argument then you should reconsider. Here are the results you get when you search for "9/11 conspiracy Reichstag fire": [15]. Again, though, you should consider what major reliable sources actually say above all else. Sources like this one: [16].--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:27, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I should also note that AQFK doubles up on misusing search results by presenting the raw hits for "9/11 conspiracy theories" to compare to his search for "Reichstag fire" and using this to argue weight. The reality is that most results for "9/11 conspiracy theories" are completely trivial or merely commenting on x group or x person espousing them, without dealing much with the conspiracy theories themselves. AQFK would have you believe that because an article doesn't mention the Reichstag fire comparison when mentioning that some celebrity like Charlie Sheen or some middle eastern leader like Ahamadinejad is espousing conspiracy theories it means the numerous mentions that we do have are not enough to justify so much as a single sentence in this massive article.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with that last point because I think that you and AQFK are both overemphasizing search results. The Reichstag comparison is a part of this body of thought -- not a huge part, but enough to warrant mention, the two sentences about the Nation piece give the other side and, beyond the specifics of the Reichstag comparison, are illuminating about the 9/11 conspiracy mindset in general. JamesMLane t c 04:39, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - it's putting the cart before the horse, and it's undue weight. The article should not be a soapbox making the cases pro and con synthesized from primary sources, but should be a neutral summary of how the reliable sources describe the theories. Based on the sources I've seen, there's no reason to elevate the Reichstag fire to prominence other than that some Truthers think it's compelling. Tom Harrison Talk 23:09, 23 January 2012 (UTC)\

On any other article, I'd agree with you -- but article is about the conspiracy theory. Everything in it is there only because some Truthers think it's compelling, or because it disputes something that Truthers think is compelling. JamesMLane t c 04:39, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't be opposed to a brief mention, something along the lines of "Some conspiracy theorists believe the events of 9/11 were planned as a false flag operation in much the same way the Reichstag fire was commonly believed to have been planned by the Nazi's." But such a mention should be included in an appropriate place in the existing text--it doesn't need it's own section. Same with Operation Northwoods. Mystylplx (talk) 05:09, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
If we included the brief mention you suggest, would you agree with also including something about the opposing opinion, reflected in the Nation piece? JamesMLane t c 14:35, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not sure I understand. How can you have an opposing opinion on this? Do some people believe this event paralleled the Reichstag Fire? Yes. Clearly the Wiki article can't imply this is a view supported by any evidence. But, we're dealing with fantasies, here, the fact that people believe in certain fantasies is indisputable. I think the only think to discuss here is whether the belief is sufficiently notable to warrant a mention here.
Frankly, I'm fine with including it or leaving it out. If it's included, a brief mention is fine, this certainly doesn't warrant a lengthy discussion within the article.JoelWhy (talk) 14:46, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm coming here as an uninvolved editor per the RfC, so maybe I'm misunderstanding the details of the dispute. I thought the question was about having some passage like the following, which was added by this edit:

Parallels have also been drawn between the 9/11 attacks and the Reichstag fire incident in Weimar Germany, with conspiracy theorists suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were staged by the government to undermine civil liberties and democracy.[1][2] Chris Hayes of The Nation described this comparison as "instructive" with regards to 9/11 conspiracy theories stating that, while suspicion towards the Nazis seemed reasonable and common, "the consensus among historians is that it was, in fact, the product of a lone zealous anarchist." Hayes added that benefiting from the event does not mean the Nazis caused it to occur and that this same reasoning applies to 9-11 and the Bush Administration.[3]

My view is that this short passage does help the reader understand one aspect of the dispute over the 9/11 conspiracy theories -- some proponents' view as to the motive for the hoax, and some opponents' response. JamesMLane t c 18:42, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Conspiracy proponents frequently liken their pet theory to notable moments in history that were (or appear to be) set up to manipulate the public. September 11 is no different. There does not appear to be any real movement or effort to associate the two events, just a few off-hand comments. That's not enough reason to include it in the article. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 23:22, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Here are some of the sources that make significant or prominent mentions of it: [17] [18] [19] [20]. In addition one of the sources not David Ray Griffin as making the comparison and it has been previously noted, you can see the source in the edit history, that Zeitgeist: the Movie made this comparison and I can give you a source for that comparison being noted as in the movie if you like.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:03, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the main point is this article is on 911 conspiracy theories. The Reichstag fire is not a 911 conspiracy theory, it really doesn't matter how common or uncommon it is for 911 conspiracy theorists to attempt to draw comparisons, it's not a 911 conspiracy theory and is really not relevant to this article. Mystylplx (talk) 02:18, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
What matters is that the comparison is common for 9/11 conspiracy theorists when explaining what they think the conspiracy was about. They think it has relevance and a lot of reliable sources apparently think the comparison is also something worth talking about when discussing 9/11 conspiracy theories. Your opinion on its relevance does not determine its relevance. Only coverage in reliable sources can determine that.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The Reichstag fire is not a 911 conspiracy theory. And of all the reliable sources you've shown a grand total of two mention it more than a single mention just in passing. I wouldn't call that "a lot." Mystylplx (talk) 04:53, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not denying the comparison has been made. It's not notable with regard to Sept. 11 conspiracy theories; a few off-hand comments don't make for a serious attempt to associate the two. I've seen conspiracists liken many events to the Reichstag fire, because that event is commonly believed to have been a set-up by the Nazis. Any anti-government conspiracy eventually mentions the Reichstag fire, in an attempt to imply that "Event X" was a government attempt to sway the public.
For this to be notable, it would have had to create a stir in the media or at least be a central part of the Sept. 11 rhetoric. All we have here are some pretty off-the-cuff comments that aren't even the focus of the articles in question. That's not enough to justify dragging the canard into this article. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:44, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Mentions of Reichstag fire

To try and cover more plainly what makes the comparison sufficiently significant to mention in the article I will lay it out here as plainly as I can.

  1. Trivial mentions in a major reliable source do have some value in determining notability if such mentions are frequent in regards to a subject. Here we have four articles that mention the comparison only briefly: [21] [22] [23] [24]. Look at the kind of publications we are talking about. The Australian, The New York Times, and The Weekly Standard are all leading news publications. The New York Sun is less significant, but still merits a mention. While all of these sources mention the comparison with others, the other comparisons are each only mentioned in one of those sources. More important is how they are mentioned; in The Australian it is brought up in the second paragraph of the article in describing the beliefs of the conspiracy theorists. The prominence given to this mention and its use in describing the views of conspiracy theorists makes it of significant note. All the other sources attribute it to some group of conspiracy theorists or individual conspiracy theorists; in that we have another significant mention from The Weekly Standard where David Ray Griffin is mentioned as making the comparison in one of his books. Him being a notable conspiracy theorist and this a major source noting his use of the comparison makes a seemingly trivial mention much more significant. Another mention is in The Washington Post behind a paywall: [25], that is more in line with the Sun and Times mentions of the comparison, but is yet another added point of notability.
  2. Mentions in conspiracist sources provide some additional insight into how common this type of comparison is relative to others. Perusing through the following sources shows that, while other comparisons are sometimes made, the Reichstag fire comparison is the most common save for mentions of Northwoods: [26] [27] [28] [29]. One of the instances where this comparison is made that was included in a previous attempt to insert the comparison refers to Zeitgeist: the Movie, the following source was provided: [30]. You can go down to page 216 of the PDF to see where it details the comparison to the Reichstag, the Other McCain, a blog by Robert Stacy McCain, mentions this comparison from the movie here when talking about Jared Lee Loughner, blaming left-wing rhetoric supposedly exemplified by the movie as motivating Loughner's actions. The comparison's inclusion in Zeitgeist adds more to its prominence in the conspiracy theories.
  3. The comparison has also been used in connection with a major news story concerning Keith Ellison. Here are a few samples of the coverage on that issue: [31] [32] [33]. Notably in the New York Post article it says Ellison "parroted a comparison made by 9/11 conspiracy groups" and the article describes allegations about the Reichstag fire while noting its relevance to the conspiracy theories, the other two news pieces cover it as echoing conspiracy theories or implying a conspiracy. Other news stories also reported on the dispute by mentioning the conspiracy theories. Hand's remark about it needing to "create a stir in the media" would appear to be satisfied by the reporting around that event.
  4. Finally we have those mentions in major sources concerning the conspiracy theories that go into a little more detail. First is a mention in Popular Mechanics. There it is cited as one of the responses to a Popular Mechanics article on the conspiracy theories where the magazine's report is associated with the way claims of Nazi complicity in the Reichstag fire were allegedly treated in German media at the time. Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts includes that article with the comparison. An article in the Weekly Standard mentions this comparison as well, though attributing it to a specific brand of German "trutherism" with the comparison being noted in the headline of the article. Then we have the article in The Nation that I have noted several times. Once more, the amount of attention given to the comparison in a major reliable source is what vests it with more notability than the typical comparison made by conspiracy theorists. We also have a significant mention in a book by Jonathan Kay here: [34]. Most importantly is the source says the comparison is "almost as frequently cited as Nortwoods" in conspiracist literature.

I do not see any evidence that any comparison save the Northwoods one has gotten the kind of attention that the Reichstag Fire comparison has gotten. Given the level and frequency of coverage connecting this to the conspiracy theories I certainly do not see any reason to exclude any mention of it at all.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:11, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I won't have time to go through that many articles until the weekend. I will state that casual mentions are just that: casual mentions, they don't indicate notability of anything. And casual mentions aren't a "stir in the media." Swiftboating was a stir in the media for the Kerry campaign for Presidency. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:08, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind that there are literally thousands of sources on the article topic. A handful of articles isn't particularly impressive IMHO. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:11, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Stop repeating claims that have already been demonstrated as inaccurate. An article on Charlie Sheen that mentions he is a truther or an article on Ahmadinejad noting the same thing is not likely to also mention the Reichstag comparison, or anything else specific for that matter. Most mentions of 9/11 conspiracy theories in reliable sources are passing mentions that naturally are not going to include many details about those theories. Seriously, look at most of those results you get, the first few pages are mostly articles about x person or group espousing conspiracy theories, with a somewhat lesser number of sources being about x group or study that has reportedly debunked a claim made in some conspiracy theories. Stop abusing search results while ignoring the actual sources that are being presented.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:34, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The stuff about Keith Ellison certainly qualifies as a stir. His comments comparing 9/11 to the Reichstag fire were being directly connected to 9/11 conspiracy theories by several major news sources.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:34, 24 January 2012 (UTC)


An RFC was opened. it is going against. Arguing against every opposition already throws off that already ongoing conversation. Opening up a sub conversation takes even more away from the discussion you already started. Consensus is against you, it sucks but that is the way it is. Let the process play itself out without even more distraction. Cptnono (talk) 05:16, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

From what I can tell we are split evenly. Also, most of my argumentative remarks have been to two specific editors, really just one honestly. My comments to other editors have been to try and direct them to sources and that is what this subsection is about.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 06:11, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with your deprecation of starting a separate thread. I disagree with your assertion about consensus. Just looking at the boldfaced !votes, and counting one "Conditional support" as a "Support", I see 5 "Support" and 6 "Oppose". That means there's no consensus, at least so far. JamesMLane t c 06:05, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually Cptnono gave a conditional oppose above that indicated he would support mentioning it and Myst also signaled conditional support for a mention in the article. Their disagreement appears to be on how it is mentioned, when the question is only whether one would support a mention.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 06:14, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I get what you both are saying. Let the RfC die and instead draft a proposal that can actually gain consensus, at this time, there is at least not consensus to make any changes. Wikipedia is weird like that. Cptnono (talk) 06:17, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll say - sometimes it doesn't matter how many reliable sources you have, or how prominently something is mentioned by those sources, or how NPOV you word it, some stuff just gets deleted from articles.... Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:14, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per A Quest For Knowledge. Darkness Shines (talk) 10:40, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support If you do a web search on "9/11 Reichstag fire" you will clearly see that many 9/11 conspiracy theorists have made this comparison, and since this article is about accurately describing 9/11 conspiracy theories, it's clearly relevant. Likewise, as The Devil's Advocate and I have pointed out, this has even been picked up by some of the mainstream media, who generally avoid the 9/11 conspiracy topic as a political taboo. Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:37, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: Per above and per arguments provided by The Devil's Advocate. --lTopGunl (talk) 09:53, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - [uninvolved editor, invited by RfC bot] WP policies do not limit how much detail is included in an article (see WP:NNC - notability applies to entire articles, not individual facts within an article). If reliable sources exist which relate the Reich. Fire with 9/11, then it can go in this article, period. Granted, WP:UNDUE applies, but that just means that the existing "Suggested historical precedents" section should be terse. I agree with the Opposers above that the text should be limited; but the best approach would be to list the 4 or 5 (or however many there are) precedents very briefly, say, one sentence each, within that existing section. --Noleander (talk) 21:06, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
It looks like we have 8 Supports and 7 Opposes. Now what? The majority support mentioning this in the article, but it's not mentioned in the article? Ghostofnemo (talk) 19:32, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
No consensus to put in in. Edkollin (talk) 19:37, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
No consensus to leave it out, either. Ghostofnemo (talk) 21:05, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
There is no consensus for inclusion, so it won't be included. It's rather simple, since this is an RfC asking if we should include it rather than one that asks if we shouldn't include it. Toa Nidhiki05 21:18, 20 April 2012 (UTC)