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David Ray Griffin: How a Retired Theologian Became a High Priest of the 9/11 Truth Movement

According to the theology of one of the leading experts of "9/11 truth," America is in the grips of a struggle with "demonic evil."

David Ray Griffin holds high status in the 9/11 Truth community as its leading scholar and advocate. Over his career, Griffin has metamorphosed from a long-time professor of philosophy, religion and theology into a 9/11 publishing machine, selling well over 100,000 copies of a slew of exhaustively annotated conspiracy theory books, and writing many dozens of papers and articles. Griffin figures in two of the most-popular documentaries of the past decade. He is credited as a script editor for Loose Change: Final Cut, the best-known, most-watched 9/11 Truth film of all time, and has a starring role in what may be  the most-watched documentary series of all time, Peter Joseph's Zeitgeist.

Asked in a 2005 interview with the L.A. Times about his “role as a 9/11 dissenter depart from [his] life's work as a scholar and theologian,” Griffin responded, “At first glance it may seem strange, but the task of a theologian is to look at the world from what we would imagine the divine perspective, [which] would care about the good of the whole and would love all the parts. [So] 9/11, if it was brought about by forces within our own government for imperial reasons, is antithetical to the general good.”

The focus on 9/11 isn’t limited to left-oriented American Christian theologians -- fundamentalist pastors have also shown a high level of interest. 

The academic Michael Barkun, in his book, Culture of Conspiracy, explains how millennialists fit the 9/11 attacks into their theological worldview. They “were in no doubt that the attacks were of eschatological importance,” given the Middle Eastern roots of the accused hijacker(s). Barkun cites Texas evangelical mega church pastor John Hagee, who preaches a coming golden age heralded by the return of Jesus. Hagee said of the attacks, “Without question, I recognize that the Third World War had begun and that it would escalate from this day until the Battle of Armageddon.” But Hagee doesn’t depart from the government’s official storyline — its account supported his larger spiritual agenda, while Griffin has challenged the world of earthly evidence as proof that the Washington is driven by a “demonic” imperial agenda. 

From Process Thought to 9/11

A few years after receiving his doctorate from the ecumenical Claremont School of Theology in Southern California, Griffin launched the Center for Process Studies at the campus in 1973. At CPS, Griffin adhered to an approach known as process thought — “a philosophical tradition that emphasizes becoming and change over static being” and one that departs from the Western tendency to view reality as a series of culminating “events” with fixed ends and beginnings. “Process thought helps to harmonize moral, aesthetic, and religious intuitions with scientific insights,” the CPS site explains. “It also grounds discussion between Eastern and Western religious and cultural traditions.”

Griffin wrote over 20 books on philosophy, theology and natural science, many with a process theology approach, before retiring from CPS in 2004 at the age of 64. But Griffin didn't trade his scholarly career for a bag of golf clubs; he already had a new passion: uncovering and exposing the truth behind 9/11.

In 2003 Griffin began to believe that the official 9/11 account was false, “not simply in minor ways ... it [was] false from beginning to end.” After researching the topic he came out with his first 9/11 book,  The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9-11, the same year he retired. Within a short time, Griffin gained status as a major scholar in the 9/11 Truth movement. Griffin has argued not only that the government’s account of 9/11 is false, but that it was “a rather obviously a false-flag attack. A false-flag attack occurs when some country, which wants to attack another one, orchestrates an attack on its own people while planting evidence to implicate that other country."