David Ray Griffin, laughing all the way to the bank?
Retired religion prof. David Ray Griffin is currently the leading intellectual light of the 9/11 movement, a position once held, it could be argued, by bombastic saliva-spewer Jim Fetzer, himself a professor of philosophy. Of course, being the leading light of a movement made up of moonbats ain't exactly like a having a chair at Yale, boyo. Plus who had ever heard of these doofi before they signed on to the 9/11 Ship of Fools? Griffin's area of expertise is the snore-worthy discipline of "process theology," which you can read more about here at the online home for the Center for Process Studies at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. Griffin's still listed there as co-staff.
As I pointed out in last week's cover story, The Yoda of 9/11, Griffin has some wacky ideas regarding parapsychology, which he enumerates in his 1997 book Parapsychology, Philosophy, and Spirituality: A Postmodern Exploration . The book itself apparently came out about two decades too late. All of this jibber-jabber regarding the paranormal, out of body experiences, reincarnation, and so on would, I'm sure, have been hot stuff in the '70s. Now it just seems passe, and a little silly, especially considering the seriousness with which he takes it all.
Commenting on Griffin shilling for parapsychology, and then later 9/11 conspiranauts, with books like The New Pearl Harbor and the more recent, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, Curley opined, "To me, it just says that this guy was ready to start huckstering. That his theology books weren’t selling."
One can understand the temptation for someone like Griffin, a nobody outside of his liberal arts cubbyhole, to jump aboard the troofer dead-end express, and suddenly garner speaking gigs galore on the crackpot circuit. During our conversation for the Curley piece, Griffin dismissed former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste's service on the 9/11 Commission, stating, "He’s a lawyer. He makes money.”
To which I asked in response: "But, do you keep the profits from your books?"
Griffin seemed surprised at the question, answering, "I keep some of ‘em. I give away quite a bit of the royalties to charities and to various 911 groups. And I don’t make any money from DVDs."
As for his speaking appearances, Griffin claimed to "barely break even," and said the most he's ever made from one is "a few thousand dollars." Regarding book sales, Griffin freely admitted that his 9/11 conspiracy books sell much better than his soporific theology tomes, but he asserted he puts far more time into the books than he gets out. "If I were interested in making money, this isn’t what I would do," he added.
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And yet Griffin has stacked a few doubloons promulgating flaky troofer theories and defending nutjob notions such as the one about voice morphing technology being used to fake phone calls from passengers on Flight 93 to their loved ones. According to Michel Moushabeck, publisher/editor of Interlink Publishing, which puts out Griffin's books, Interlink is now through its second printing of Debunking 9/11 Debunking, which has only been out since earlier this year.
"The first printing was 15,000 copies," writes Moushabeck. "The second was for 7000 copies."
Moushabeck states that Griffin's earlier book The New Pearl Harbor,"has 140,000 copies in print and has been translated into 12 languages." Still, I believe Griffin when he says he's not in it for the scrilla. No academic is. Academics like money, but the money they make rarely rivals those of their counterparts in business. No, for academics, it's more about ego. And Griffin's Debunking 9/11 Debunking is all about ego. I'm looking to get hold of an electronic copy, so the number of times Griffin uses the first person pronoun "I" can be counted. Griffin's latest is weirdly self-referential and, um, self-reverential. He takes debunking tracts to task for not including him into their arguments. Why, the mere fact that an intellect of his stature has taken up the 9/11 conspiracy cause, should be proof enough that there's some validity in all this troofer wombattery, eh?
Nearing 70, Griffin will likely never get another chance to make a name for himself outside the dog-eat-dog world of process theology. 9/11 is it for him. And his influence is currently at its zenith. Nowhere to go from here but down. Stay tuned as I delve into more of Griffin's intellectual strumpetry for the next week or so, dipping into my interview with the guy and his writings to make my points.