Kay On Gage
A brief extract from Among the Truthers:
Gage will admit that he’s paid a price. Friends who failed to embrace his missionary zeal have drifted away. So has his wife, who he said had difficulty accepting his “dark” vision. Gage now lives by himself in a home office near Berkeley, paying his bills with the modest amounts he earns through donations. Yet when Gage discusses all this, he seems curiously upbeat—almost euphoric—like a Benedictine monk who’s happily renounced the material encumbrances of secular life. Although he doesn’t talk much about his world before 9/11 Truth, he clearly remembers it as empty and unsatisfying.
“I would rather die speaking the truth than live in a police state, which is what 9/11 set the groundwork for,” he tells me in a final, slightly manic flourish. “I can’t have my son—or grandchildren—ask me, ‘What did you do to stop it?’—and I say, ‘I tried to talk to some architects but they wouldn’t listen.’
As a reminder, those "modest amounts" equaled $75,000 in 2009; I'm still waiting for Guidestar to post the 2010 figures.
The part that I still have difficulty believing is this:
But Gage arrived in a calm, friendly mood. After buying himself a soy latte, he sat with me on a bench outside the café for two hours, patiently describing his transformation from workaday commercial architect to 9/11 Truth evangelist. It was in March 2006 that his life changed, Gage tells me. He was in his car just after lunch, fighting traffic en route to a construction meeting. Bored, he flipped on KPFA 94.1 FM, a listener-supported station out of Berkeley—“to hear what the communists were talking about.”
Up to that point in life, Gage recalls, he’d been just your average workaday architect, with a wife, child, and a strong Republican voting record. “I believed strongly in America,” he tells me. “I believed everything was okay. When Colin Powell was giving his Iraq evidence at the United Nations [in March 2003], I was cheering him on. I wanted us to go to war in Iraq. I wanted to find the WMD. I was completely on board. I was the poster child for George W. Bush’s foreign policy.”
It's certainly not unheard of for people to listen to the other side on the radio; I used to listen to Air America. What is unusual is this:
The voice he heard on KPFA’s airwaves belonged to David Ray Griffin, a retired Claremont School of Theology professor who’s since become a full-time 9/11 Truth activist. “Griffin was logical and methodical—almost grandfatherly,” Gage remembers. “He was talking about the 118 [World Trade Center] first-responders—information that had just come out in 2005—who said they’d heard explosions and flashes of light, beams dripping with molten metal, all amid the collapse of 80,000 tons of structural steel. It hit me like a two-by-four. How come I’d never heard of any of this? I was shocked. I had to pull my car off the road to absorb it all. I knew I’d be late for the meeting. But I didn’t care.”
Most liberals, if they listened to Rush Limbaugh, would not be pulling off the road to absorb it all and saying, "You know, he's right!" Ditto with conservatives taking in Ed Schultz.
And when Gage recently hired a publicist for his group, whom did he choose? Ilene Proctor, who bills herself as "The Public Relations Princess of the Political Left".