The 9/11 Cult: Embracing the Glamour of Evil

by Thomas Knapp

Like all religions, the religion of state thrives on rites, rituals and relics, striving to put its god — political government — at the center of human existence. Seldom has this been more apparent than in the run-up to the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Pursuant to a New York Port Authority program launched in 2010, the globe is now dotted with shrines to 9/11. No fewer than 1,300 of them, in fact, pieced together from the twisted steel ruins of the World Trade Center complex.

Most of these shrines are placed so as to draw positive attention to “first responders,” especially police departments. “First responders” have become the parish-level clergy — the domestic omnipresence — of the 9/11 cult, endlessly parading in their clerical vestments and administering minor sacraments such as the warrantless search and the no-knock raid.

The cult’s foreign missionary effort, carried out from hundreds of bases abroad by mid-level clergy, resembles nothing so much as the Aztec custom of mass abduction and human sacrifice.

The higher clergy of the cult are, of course, jealous of their own prerogatives. Mere “first responders” need not pencil in time to attend the 10th anniversary ceremonies at Ground Zero: They’re not invited. The big 9/11 observances are tributes to the politicians whose policies made the attacks inevitable and who have since continuously doubled down on those policies.

In traditional Christianity, the leader sacrificed himself that the followers might live forever and the gentiles gathered in as well. The 9/11 cult’s approach is precisely the opposite: It is the followers and the foreigners who are sacrificed that the political class might thrive.

In Catholic communion, the wafer and wine become the body and blood of Christ, representing his sacrifice on your behalf. Behold the 9/11 cult’s miracle of record: Transubstantiation of the Ski Mask, in which you and your labor become wafer and wine, consumed at gunpoint by holy muggers for the perpetual vivification of the state.

Not that the 9/11 cult is in any way unique: Its power is in its relative youth and vigor, not in any special difference between it and the larger religion of political government. The paths to its shrines are not yet as well-worn as those to Arlington National Cemetery or Marx’s grave, nor are its slogans yet as faded and banal as “Remember the Maine” or “all power to the soviets.” But its principles remain eternal and unchanging. Moloch’s face and figure may evolve, but his blood thirst remains unquenched, the fire in his belly never cools, and his moral imperative always boils down to “let us prey.”

The state is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell. To abide it is to embrace the glamour of evil and accept mastery by sin, to willingly submit to continual baptism in the innocent blood of kin and stranger alike. If you’re looking for meaning in the pomp and ceremony surrounding the anniversary 9/11, look no further than that.

Ceterem autem censeo, status esse delendam.

12 responses to “The 9/11 Cult: Embracing the Glamour of Evil

  1. Wow, what a revolting article.

  2. For me, the (“political”) disappointment of the past decade has been the unwillingness by anyone to engage with the deeper questions of why 9/11 happened, and what drives Islamic terrorism and Islamism. The two major (and remarkably similar, in fact) political “sides”- the “left” and the “right” simply retreated into their comfort zones, trotting out careworn stereotypical narratives. The “left” (and indeed, much of the libertarian “right”) dusted off their Lenin and talked of Imperialism, and blowback therefrom, but this did not answer the question; the Arab world has suffered far less western imperialism than many other parts of the world whose inhabitants do not seem so desperate to kill us, such as the hindoos and sikhs of India, and indeed the Islamic culture has indulged in rather a lot of imperialism of its own, historically.

    The Right told us that they “hate us for our freedoms” but were unable to explain which particular “freedoms” it was that “they” hated us for; whether the piss-weak democracies we suffer or the right to borrow money at interest, or some other thing. Nor again did it explain why particularly muslims are apparently so furious about these “freedoms” while sikhs and buddhists and zoroastrians manage to find them much more tolerable.

    And… I was about to fill another comment box with a long, tiresome screed as to my analysis, but suddenly lost the will, for which I am sure Dr Gabb is particularly grateful, haha. Those unfortunate enough to have read much of my writing can probably guess at what I would have said anyway, so I’ll simply leave it there. The hegemonic explanations offered by either side are rather like the Labour Theory Of Value; their great failing is that they fail to explain the very phenomenon they set out to explain. When Thomas Knapp offers that 9/11 was the result of western public policy in some way, or somebody else offers us a tale of Arabian imperialism, whirling dervishes and camel riders boiling out of the desert to convert us by the sword because we are, apparently, too free, we get no closer to understanding why some young man in Luton is prepared to strap a bomb to himself and blow up both himself and a bus.

    I am sick of the Left, and sick of the Right. That is why I despair at a “left” libertarianism, or of a “right” libertarianism. We are supposed to be above that, and to at least try to seek truth rather than perpetuate dogma. There is an objective reality out there. Let’s engage with it.


  3. ”There is an objective reality out there. Let’s engage with it.”

    The most sensible opinion on the subect I have read for some time.

    The way some people seek to twist and squeeze the facts to fit their preconceived notions can sometimes be utterly sickening. (such as the totally revolting idea that to honour the victims of 9/11 is to enter a ”covenant with death and an agreement with hell.” and that is is all somehow part of a big government cult and conspiracy)

  4. Ian B – I do wish you’d stop hinting that I am sick of your postings to this blog. In the first place, David Davis is the Blogmaster, and he is very happy to have you around. In the second place, I am disappointed if you think that my disagreements with you, or my greater agreement with TK and KC, would incline me to wish to see fewer of your contributions.

    You are a welcome member of this blogging community. I wish you would make a better effort in your attacks on KC and TK. Perhaps you will. In any event, just go ahead and say whatever you please, subject to the approval of a Blogmaster who is at least as tolerant as I am of disagreement.

  5. IanB,

    This column is not about why 9/11 happened, it’s about how 9/11 has been used. Thus only the passing reference to the former topic.

    I certainly agree that it’s more complicated than just “blowback” or “they hate us for our freedoms.” The former explanation doesn’t account for the fact that the Islamists do have their own agendas independent of US policies. The latter explanation doesn’t account for the fact that US policies do have consequences.

    I apologize for writing a newspaper column about something else, instead of a book about that.

  6. Well Sean, I dunno. Everything I post that isn’t directly connected to Kevin Carson seems to upset Dj. I’m not entirely happy with “blogging community”. It sounds a bit mutualist. I’d prefer to be considered an independent commenting contractor, if that’s alright.

    Thomas: I was just musing generally about 9/11. It’s that kind of day.

  7. Ian,

    No problem. I just didn’t want to get pigeonholed as supporting a monolinear explanation of 9/11 that comes down to “those nasty imperialists had it coming” or something like that. Looking back over my piece, I see that it lends itself to that interpretation, which I regret — I was shooting for a 500-word piece on one aspect, and managed to snag another aspect in there from only one angle without intending to.

  8. Ian – If you want to contribute to a blog where everyone loves one another, and is kicked off if he doesn’t, I advise you to go and make your peace with Samizdata. DJ doesn’t like your writing. You don’t like his. You and KC don’t like each other – though you seem to be going through some kind of detente with TK. No one likes Robert Henderson. And so it goes on and on.

    I have explained at some length that people only get sat on if what they say is likely to get DD and SIG into trouble. That’s why we shut down the holocaust debate when, after four and a half years, we finally noticed that it was going on. But the blog is wide open to left libertarians and to libertarian nationalists – and to people like you who insist that they aren’t really libertarians.

    The Libertarian Alliance has never prescribed an orthodoxy to its writers. You can see this in our formal publications. You can see it on our blog. These are the terms on which we operate.

  9. Ever seen a skyscraper being disintegrated by controlled explosive demolition in real time?

    Watch carefully, and follow the commentary.



  10. “what do you see”? asks the commentator at the end of the video–About three thousand people being murdered says I