To The Editor:

Since I moved to Lonedell eight years ago, I’ve diligently read The Missourian and have come to recognize a stable of odious cranks that, for some reason that I wish The Missourian would explain, doesn’t feel any need to use editorial judgment. And 9/11 always brings out Mr. Browning’s yearly “9/11 was an inside job” letter to the editor (“Time to Learn Truth About 9/11,” 9/7/2019) whose pursuit of 9/11 “truth” is worse than Captain Ahab hunting Moby Dick.

Someone needs to step up and address these 9/11 cranks.

Whenever someone is about to let their conspiracy theories take off, ask yourself these things:

1. What’s in it for the people who are doing the conspiring? And not just anything immediate, but in the long run ... What value do people get by taking the effort to be in the conspiracy? Ideology is almost never enough for most actions like engaging in a conspiracy.

2. All that’s needed for a conspiracy to fall apart is for one person to decide to no longer be a part of it and reveal the conspiracy. This means that, the more people involved, the more likely the conspiracy will fall apart. So, ask yourself “How likely is this conspiracy to fall apart? How many people are involved?”

3. The larger and more complex the conspiracy, the easier it is to detect by potential victims. This is because conspiracies require coordinated actions among the conspirators — the kinds of actions which appear suspicious because they would not occur if there was the simple randomness of people. For instance, this is how forensic accountants discover financial crimes.

I want to share the words from Facebook of a friend I’ve known for over 40 years — a 9/11 widow whose police officer husband died in the WTC.

“After 9/11 we had no choice but to go on and move on with our lives. And yet, every year we get pulled right back into the pain, the loss, the memories of a day that irrevocably changed our entire lives. For those of us directly affected, there is no consistency to the moving on because this time each year we must stand with a foot in each world ... the one we lost and the one we rebuilt; 18 years later and it still hurts ... still unbalances me and the children.”

Mr.Browning: Stop. Stop hurting others — and yourself. Seek help.