A Preacher to a Dying Breed
Jonathan Kay, the Canadian journalist who penned Among the Truthers, shares his thoughts after visiting a Richard Gage lecture in Toronto, his third such visit (he is a braver man than I).
Ask Richard Gage how he came to become obsessed with what he calls the “truth” about 9/11, and you hear what sounds an awful lot like a story of religious conversion It was March 2006, and the mild-mannered California architect was driving down the Pacific Coast Highway on his way to a construction meeting. Bored, he flipped on KPFA 94.1 FM, a listener-supported “free-speech” station out of Berkeley — “to hear what the communists were talking about,” as he later told me in a 2009 interview. Up to that point in his life, Gage had been a staunch “Ronald Reagan Republican” (his words) and an Iraq War supporter. But what he heard on KPFA’s airwaves blew his mind. “[The speaker] 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,” he told me. “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 to the side of the road to absorb it all. I knew I’d be late for the meeting. But I didn’t care.”