YouTube and blogs enhance self-importance of 9/11 Truthers - "ego inflation" behind instant expertise of 9/11 Truth Movement.
(BNN - June 11, 2007 - San Diego, CA) - 9/11 conspiracy theorists believe that worldwide praise of their efforts proves they do not suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder or "ego inflation problems." Such is the reaction of leaders of the 9/11 Truth Movement to a recent study identifying an increase in narcissism in the younger generation.
As first reported by the Screw Loose Change blog in March 2007, a new psychological study, Egos inflating over time," found that narcissism levels are significantly higher in recent generations." The study has spawned analysis of 9/11 conspiracy theorists, identifying narcissism as the prime motivating force behind efforts of young 9/11 Truthers to gain the attention they crave.
"It is important to note that those in the 9/11 Truth Movement need to stand out in the crowd, to exert their 'rightful importance' in the world," says BNN health consultant, Dr. James T. Howard, Jr.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is characterized "...first and foremost by a positive and inflated view of the self, especially on agentic traits (e.g., power, importance, physical attractiveness... is associated with social extroversion, although narcissists have relatively little interest in forming warm, emotionally intimate bonds with others... involves a wide range of self-regulation efforts aimed at enhancing the self. These efforts can range from attention-seeking... taking credit from others... and opportunities to achieve public glory. Narcissists also lash out in aggression when they are rejected or insulted."
The study, which showed that "30% more college students showed elevated narcissism in 2006 compared to 1982," includes several patterns of narcissistic behavior characteristic of 9/11 conspiracy theorists:
- 51% said that becoming famous was among their generation's important goals.
- Websites such as MySpace and YouTube (whose slogan is "Broadcast yourself") permit self-promotion far beyond that allowed by traditional media.
- An analysis of teenagers' MMPI responses showed that in the 1950s, only 12% agreed with the statement "I am an important person." By the late 1980s, 80% agreed.
- From the 1960s to the 1990s, agreement with California Psychological Inventory items such as "I have often met people who were supposed to be experts who were no better than I...have increased."
- Teenagers' MMPI responses showed that in the 1950s, only 12% agreed with the statement "I am an important person." By the late 1980s, 80% agreed.
Illustrations of narcissism among the young generation of 9/11 conspiracy theorists include the famous debate in September, 2006, between "Loose Change" creators Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas and authors of the Popular Mechanics's stellar debunking of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Unable to withstand the rational rejection of his 9/11 conspiracy theories, Jason Bermas became increasingly arrogant and haughty believing himself to be a far better expert on structural engineering, physics, chemistry, and forensic science than the hundreds of experts that made up the NIST investigation. As the grandiose sense of his own abilities was crushed, Bermas repeatedly called the authors of "Debunking 9/11 Myths" liars.
Dr. Howard has followed 9/11 conspiracy theorists for four years, noting the case of William Rodriguez, the respected hero of 9/11, who led dozens of people to safety from the north tower of the World Trade Center before it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. Lately, many in some quarters have described Rodriguez as the "Fallen Angel" of 9/11.
"Fantasies about having exceptional power, attractiveness or success, a sense of belonging to an exclusive group of people who truly understand each other, expectations of special treatment, and haughty or arrogant behavior are some of the things we've seen in 9/11 conspiracy theorists."
In an uncharacteristic outburst, leading some to suspect ego-inflation issues, William Rodriquez stated in a recent blog entry:
"Many accused me of exploiting 9/11. I am 9/11!"
"I was there, I experience the event, I lost 200 friends, I formed a 9/11 victims group, went to congress to fight for them, part of many organizations dealing with the blueprint to avoid future emergencies, speak on the media all the time on different issues related to 9/11, pushing a senate hearing in June to deal with the First Responders issue and live it every day of my life, any doubts?"
The "Egos inflating over time" study concludes that, "Self-correction may occur, however, given a strong enough external force... if another Great Depression or world war struck, Americans might suddenly have to temper their narcissism."