At Madison Public Library Thursday, a former University of Wisconsin lecturer said America's future is in jeopardy without 9/11 Truth, an organization that believes the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were part of a conspiracy by the U.S. government.
Kevin Barrett, who gained nationwide attention for his controversial views about Sept. 11 when he was teaching an introductory Islam class at UW last fall, explained how searching for answers behind the Sept. 11 attacks, "a pseudo-religious act of human sacrifice," affect Americans' cultural, spiritual and physical survival.
"We are on the brink of a chemical war; you should care because your life depends on it," Barrett, the founder of Alliance for 9/11 Truth, said.
He also said Americans' survival was threatened by anthrax threats and said official sources have confirmed anthrax threats came from Fort Detrick, Md.
"Bush didn't want an investigation after 9/11, and we can see why the administration didn't want to talk about why is anthrax coming from within the U.S.," Barrett said.
According to Barrett, not providing answers and a "lie of this magnitude" kills the human spirit.
"Their spiritual life has diminished since 9/11 because there is more fear in the air and people are afraid to really live and open up to the world, they go around looking like zombies," Barrett said.
Barrett said he believes it is "absolutely reasonable" to believe the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition and now there are CIA experts including Ray McGovern and Bill Christensen and colonels and generals coming forward.
"This monstrous lie will be far more pernicious, spiritually and every other way, than the actual murders," Barrett said. "The lie is infinitely more harmful."
Barrett said America's current leaders are completely out of control.
"The war in Iraq has taken over a million lives so far," Barrett said. "There have been executive orders where Bush can declare a state of emergency without getting approval from Congress. We are on the way to becoming a dictatorship."
In terms of the future, Barrett said 9/11 Truth has the potential to change public opinion and finding out what happened "might unite us."
UW College Democrats Chair Oliver Kiefer said while Barrett is free to express his speech, it is not an opinion he agrees with. Kiefer said he believes in a more "mainstream" view that the Bush administration has failed the country.
"The Bush administration didn't adopt recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, nor take safety precautions, and have left us vulnerable," Kiefer said. "For example, nothing was done with our ports until Democrats took over in Congress, and that's just inexcusable."
Madison resident Lou Stolzenberg said she doesn't accept new information quickly. However, once she looked at information from scientists and engineers about the World Trade Center's collapse, she agreed with the conspiracy theory.
"[These are] qualified, educated and reputable people — who don't just accept any information, but have high standards for verifying information," Soltzenberg said. "I believed the theory."