I frequently receive requests from people asking me to explain some of the health-scare claims made by Joseph Mercola, the overwrought professional alarmist, in his regular e-mails. Usually this involves sorting out the wheat (eg, the possible health advantages of food items from grass-fed animals) from the chaff (eg, Mercola’s resultant conclusion that we all should eat only raw eggs from chickens that we raise in our back yards). Occasionally all I have to do is explain the obvious error in a Mercola headline—“Sunlight Can Cut Your Risk of Death in Half” was one such proclamation.

But sometimes his references to supposedly unhealthy products and practices take on a vaguely sinister tone, as if there is a secret conspiracy designed to ruin civilization as we know it. Someone forwarded to me just such a Mercola article earlier this week, and the introductory copy had this person concerned about a product that she uses: erythritol.
“Exactly What is The New Sweetener Erythritol?” was the teaser headline in the e-mail. Continuing this allusion to possibly nefarious substances, the next line warned, “This is not the only ingredient that makes VitaminWater a poor nutritional choice.” The first paragraph of the article even referred to this polyol as “a mysterious product called Erythritol”. To my correspondent, this sounded fairly ominous, yet she couldn’t figure out after reading the article exactly what Mercola’s problem is with erythritol.
Well, after reading the article, neither could I. Why? Because once the inflammatory intro is finished, the word “erythritol” appears exactly once in the entire article. That’s it.
Mercola’s real beef seems to be that Coca-Cola has the audacity to market sweetened water as a health drink, but that isn’t very attention-getting, of course, partly because sugary drinks have been around for a century, and mostly because Mercola has railed against this kind of thing so much in the past that even his fan base doesn’t listen anymore. Thus he needs to find some other avenue of attack, something that sounds, well, “mysterious”, so that he can instruct us all in the unhealthy realities of the product and gain our commercial thanks for saving us.
Apparently, Mercola believes that his readers will be impressed by his being ahead of the curve on erythritol, even though the substance is actually older than I am. Hardly news-breaking, but then Mercola obviously was hard-pressed for fresh material for his routine. His article does mention possible absorption problems with significant consumptions of other polyols, and by implication we are supposed to assume that erythritol is equally causative, but Mercola does not exactly write that, which is proper, because erythritol is the best absorbed of the polyols.
When I e-mailed back my correspondent with the additional data that erythritol has a glycæmic index of 0 and only 0.2 kcals per gram, she decided that the fact that she had used the sweetener for years without problems was more informative than Mercola’s missive.
Personally, I’m hoping that from now on he delivers more headlines like “Sunlight Can Cut Your Risk of Death in Half”. That, at least, was pretty funny.

  1. Charles Staley 14 years ago

    GREAT post Mark! I’m becoming increasingly interested in this sort of anti-technology sentiment, which includes things like the dangers of cooked food, plastic bottles, artificial sweeteners, and so on. One of the most interesting of these is the universal distrust of “processed” foods, as if all food processing is bad.

  2. Author
    Mark 14 years ago

    Yes, it is interesting that so many people do not realize that pretty much everything they eat is processed to some degree. Even the fresh vegetables in the grocery store have been sprayed, fertilized, harvested, sorted, trimmed, cleaned, packaged, and shipped, with many different machines involved along the way.
    The deceitful and hypocritical thing about Mercola is that he knows that these (and other) processes are involved in every single product that he sells, too. Yet he wants us to overlook that, as he nags about everything else for sale in the world as being ‘too processed’.

  3. Will Brink 14 years ago

    You have to read this one to believe it on splenda:
    Best line:
    “Sucralose is only 25% water soluble. (3) Which means a vast majority of it may explode internally. In general, this results in weakened immune function, irregular heart beat, agitation, shortness of breath, skin rashes, headaches, liver and kidney damage, birth defects, cancer, cancer and more cancer – for generations! (1) ”
    Note the citation source for the claim….

  4. Gemma 14 years ago

    Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…

  5. Author
    MarkM 14 years ago

    Will, that link to “The People’s Chemist” takes the cake. The fact that someone with a master’s degree in organic chemistry would base his claim of “exploding” sucralose on a book by Mercola (who’s not a chemist) says more about that crowd’s real agenda than anything else.

  6. Will Brink 14 years ago

    Using Mercola as a reference for such claims, is all I need to know….Does not bode well in my view.

  7. David 14 years ago

    Good article.

  8. Spencer 13 years ago

    So, are you saying that sucralose is safe?

  9. Author
    MarkM 13 years ago

    The safety of any chemical sweetener is a matter of perspective. Sucralose certainly is “safe” in comparison to the hysterical and erroneous claims being made against it, as evidenced from the above-referenced notion that “a vast majority of it may explode internally.” This is utterly unfounded, completely unproven, and demonstrably untrue. After all, how many deaths or even hospitalizations have been caused by “exploding” sucralose? If this product is the public-health catastrophe that Mercola and his followers want people to believe it is, we would have seen proof of it long before now.
    That having been said, however, it also is obvious that sucralose is not a necessary part of anyone’s diet. Replacing lots of sugar in the average US food intake (on corn flakes, in coffee, in cake mixes, etc) with lots of sucralose (or aspartame, saccharin, etc) is not really a better solution. Not only are chemical sweeteners not calorie-free, but they can serve to worsen a person’s sweetness threshold. People who have a strong “sweet tooth” think that can they indulge themselves even more, because they are not incurring the problems associated with massive sugar consumption.
    The overall healthiest course is for someone to wean himself from sweetness, and make that taste just an occasional one in the diet. If the source is one of the variety of whole foods that provide sweetness (fruit, honey, etc), then the person will be getting some nutrients, too. With that type of diet, a measly packet of Splenda in a morning cup of tea is not going to matter.

    • Dirty Harry 13 years ago

      January 20 2008
      Mr. Larry Silverstein
      President, Silverstein Associates
      530 5th Ave.
      New York,
      NY 10036
      Phone: 212-490-0666
      Fax: 212-687-0067
      Shalom Larry,
      RE: Ownership, Control, and Insurance of The World Trade Centre
      I would like to know if the article below is correct:
      The World Trade Centre complex came under the control of a private owner for the first time only in mid-2001, having been built and managed by the Port Authority as a public resource. The complex was leased to a partnership of Silverstein Properties and Westfield America. 1 2 The new controllers acquired a handsome insurance policy for the complex including a clause that would prove extremely valuable: in the event of a terrorist attack, the partnership could collect the insured value of the property, and be released from their obligations under the 99-year lease. 3
      Ownership Change
      Author Don Paul investigated this and related issues for his 2002 book, which contains the following passage detailing financial aspects and ownership changes of the complex preceding the attack.
      On April 26 of 2001 the Board of Commissioners for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey awarded Silverstein Properties and mall-owner Westfield America a 99-year-lease on the following assets: The Twin Towers, World Trade Centre Buildings 4 and 5, two 9-story office buildings, and 400,000 square feet of retail space.
      The partners’ winning bid was $3.2 billion for holdings estimated to be worth more than $8 billion. JP Morgan Chase, a prestigious investment-bank that’s the flagship firm of its kind for Rockefeller family interests, advised the Port Authority, another body long influenced by banker and builder David Rockefeller, his age then 85, in the negotiations.
      The lead partner and spokesperson for the winning bidders, Larry Silverstein, age 70, already controlled more than 8 million square feet of New York City real estate. WTC 7 and the nearby Equitable Building were prime among these prior holdings. Larry
      Silverstein also owned Runway 69, a nightclub in Queens that was alleged 9 years ago to be laundering money made through sales of Laotian heroin. 4
      In December 2003, the Port Authority agreed to return all of the $125 million in equity that the consortium headed by Silverstein originally invested to buy the lease on the World Trade Centre. The Port Authority rejected a request by the Wall Street Journal to review the transaction. 5 A press report from November 2003 about the same transaction noted that it would allow Silverstein to retain development rights. 6
      The lease deal didn’t close until July 24th, just 6 weeks before the attack. 7
      Insurance Payouts
      Don Paul also documented the money flows surrounding the loss of Building 7.
      In February of 2002 Silverstein Properties won $861 million from Industrial Risk Insurers to rebuild on the site of WTC 7. Silverstein Properties’ estimated investment in WTC 7 was $386 million. So: This building’s collapse resulted in a profit of about $500 million. 8
      The insurance money flows involved in the destruction of the original six World Trade Center buildings were far greater. Silverstein Properties, the majority owner of WTC 7, also had the majority interest in the original World Trade Centre complex. Silverstein hired Willis Group Holdings Ltd. to obtain enough coverage for the complex. Willis undertook “frenetic” negotiations to acquire insurance from 25 carriers. The agreements were only temporary contracts when control of the WTC changed hands on July 24. 9
      After the attack, Silverstein Properties commenced litigation against its insurers, claiming it was entitled to twice the insurance policies’ value because, according to a spokesman for Mr. Silverstein, “the two hijacked airliners that struck the 110-story twin towers Sept. 11 were separate ‘occurrences’ for insurance purposes, entitling him to collect twice on $3.6 billion of policies.” This was reported in the Bloomberg News less than one month after the attack. 10
      The ensuing legal battle between the leaseholders and insurers of the World Trade Centre was not about how the 9/11/01 attack on the WTC could be considered two attacks, when the WTC was only destroyed once. Rather it seemed to revolve around whether the beneficiaries thought it was one or two “occurrences.” The proceedings before U.S. District Judge John S. Martin involved a number of battles over the insurers’ discovery rights regarding conversations about this issue between insurance beneficiaries and their lawyers. 11 12
      In December 2004, a jury ruled in favour of the insurance holders’ double claim. 13
      A Parable
      To put these events in perspective, imagine that a person leases an expensive house, and immediately takes out an insurance policy covering the entire value of the house and specifically covering bomb attacks. Six weeks later two bombs go off in the house, separated by an hour. The house burns down, and the lessor immediately sues the insurance company to pay him twice the value of the house, and ultimately wins. The lessor also gets the city to dispose of the wreckage, excavate the site, and help him build a new house on the site.
      1.Westfield Nabs Trade Center mall, ICSC.org, 6/2/2001
      2. Governor Pataki, Acting Governor DiFrancesco Laud Historic Port Authority Agreement to Privatize World Trade Center, Port Authority on NY & NJ, 7/24/01
      3. Reinsurance Companies Wait to Sort Out Cost of Damage, New York Times, 9/12/01, page C6
      4. Facing Our Fascist State, I/R Press, 2002, page 38
      5. MetLife Will Sell Sears Tower, Wall Street Journal Online, 3/12/04
      6. Most of WTC Down Payment to Be Returned, 11/22/03
      7. Insurers Debate: One Accident or Two?, Bloomberg News, 10/10/01
      8. Facing Our Fascist State, , page 47
      9. Double Indemnity, law.com, 9/3/02
      10. Judge John S. Martin Jr.’s Latest Opinion in Swiss Re v. WTC., Newsday, 09/25/02
      11. Twin Tower Insurers Win Discovery Fight, 6/20/02
      12. World Trade Center’s Mortgage Holder Loses Discovery Fight, 7/8/02
      13. Jury Awards $2.2 Billion in 9/11 Insurance, United Press International, 12/6/04
      Well, Larry what do you think? It looks like the Goyim think you set it up from the start! They think us Jews would do such things to the Goyim!
      All the article proves is how clever you are, and how dumb the Goyim are.
      Is it true you sing Frank Sinatra’s song, “I Did It My Way” in the shower?
      Larry if you are buying any property in the future, give me a call. I will buy the property next door and make sure I take out an insurance policy covering the entire value of the property.
      Mr. Larry Silverstein
      President, Silverstein Associates
      530 5th Ave.
      New York,
      NY 10036
      Phone: 212-490-0666 Fax: 212-687-0067
      Jan 8, 2008
      Shalom Larry,
      There is talk going round that you owned the three (3) buildings that collapsed in the 9/11 disaster? Is this true? Would you please clarify the comments you made regarding WTC-7? In a PBS documentary aired in 2003, you stated:
      “I remember getting a call from the fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.’ And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.”
      Your comments created some concern and speculation – as you are probably aware. In the course of the 9/11 Commission hearings, a question regarding your statement was forwarded directly by 9/11 family group leaders to the 9/11 Commission. They asked the commissioners to inquire about WTC-7 and your statement in the course of former mayor Rudoplh Guliani’s public testimony. Many people hoped that Mr. Guliani’s account would shed light on what you said.
      Unfortunately, the Commission did not raise the question. Therefore, I am writing to sincerely request that you issue me with a statement to clarify your remarks.
      The words “pull it” refer, in typical jargon, to demolition of a building. Is that how you were using the phrase? The last sentence in your statement quoted above has such a “cause and effect” type of syntax that it seems to many as if you are saying the FDNY made the decision to “pull” the building and it was then done that day. Given the lack of closure on the reason for WTC-7’s collapse, a clarification on your part would be most helpful and appropriate.
      Ps. Were the Twin Towers due for demolition in 2005?
      If one believed in Fairies, they would say that you found your Pot of Gold at the bottom of WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7. But others are saying different!
      Lucky Larry
      WTC destroyed; a multi-billion insurance compensation
      consoles Larry Silverstein
      “The Harbour Authorities of New York and New Jersey were the owners of the WTC. The two towers, 412 meters high, were completed in 1972 and the costs then amounted to 37 million Dollars. … Since then the towers have become a desirable address for corporate businesses. From the completion of the buildings the entire office space had always been rented and the rents produced a great return for the owners. … 430 companies from all over the world rented app. 3.3 million square feet office space in the WTC. More than 40,000 people were employed in the towers.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Sep 11, 2001
      Three months prior to the destruction of both towers the owners of the WTC leased the buildings, for incomprehensible reasons, to the Jewish real estate tycoon Larry Silverstein. Since then “Silverstein Properties Inc.” took in the rent from the 430 tenants and other source income (i.e. tourist admission fees). Silverstein in return paid a leasing fee to the owners: “Only three months before the attack Silverstein signed a rental contract for the WTC. Silverstein agreed to pay over 99 years a total of 3,2 billion Dollars in leasing instalments to the Port Authorities: 616 million as an initial payment and then annually 115 million Dollars. The Port Authorities remained the owners of the WTC.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Oct 11, 2001.
      Then the catastrophe came upon New York. On September 11, only three months after signing the lease between Silverstein and the Port Authorities, two large passenger jets crashed into the towers. Larry was lucky, that he was not responsible for liabilities towards the Port Authorities, since the disaster was an act of God. Quite the contrary happened. Larry Silverstein, despite not being the owner of the buildings, was the sole beneficiary of the insurance indemnity payments of more than 7 billion Dollars. Good for Larry that he had not forgotten to increase the insurance policies, just in time, when he signed the lease three months before the catastrophe happened:
      “Larry Silverstein, since July landlord of the towers, demands from the insurers 7,2 billion Dollars compensation, his speaker, Steve Solomon, said. … The Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey, owners of the WTC, agree with Silverstein’s demand.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Oct 10, 2001.
      The Port Authorities believe that Silverstein should get the 7,2 billion Dollar compensation instead of them, despite the fact that, as the lawful owners, should be indemnified. Larry, born under a lucky star. The following insurance companies are liable to Silverstein’s compensation demand: “Chubb Corp., Swiss Reinsurance Co., Lloyd’s of London, German Alliance Corp., ACE Ltd and XL Capital Ltd.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Oct 10, 2001.
      Wonderful people like Larry Silverstein have many wonderful friends. With the help of New York’s Jewish mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Silverstein found new investors, who are prepared to provide the money to build a new WTC. Larry can therefore keep the 7 billion Dollars from the underwriters and put it into a saving account:
      “Within the next five years a new WTC could be erected on ‘Ground Zero’, Silverstein said after a meeting with the designated New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Nov 28, 2002
      Who would be surprised if Larry’s good-heartedness commanded him to donate a significant part of the insurance compensation to a needy Israel? The Harbour Authorities obliviously sail on the same good Samaritan wave, for they do not even want these vast pay-outs. Thus, God once more helped out his chosen people financially. The insurance companies, liable for the compensation to Larry, are to a great extent re-insured by “Munich Reinsurance Corp”. What a blessing for the Germans, they are happily committed once again to contributing financial good-turns to God’s own people. In order to arrange even more help, Saudi Arabia is now considered a major source of future contribution:
      “Saudi Arabia as America’s enemy, ‘the core of evil’ … We Americans will annex your oil fields and your assets in America. … The U.S. pushes Royal Saudi Arabia, just like Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Libya into an open membership club, called the ‘axis-powers of evil’.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Nov 23, 2002.
      After all, the entire world is happy for Larry Silverstein, whom fate poured its manna from heaven and good fortune upon him. First, the WTC-leasing contract fell on his lap and only a short time later two passenger jets crashed into the towers, which prompted 7,2 billion Dollars to rain down on Larry’s head:
      “70 year old Silverstein, by leasing the WTC only in July, made the ‘dream of his life come true’.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Nov 23, 2002.
      Who would not understand lucky Larry’s sentiments, when he described the WTC-deal as the fulfilled dream of his life, despite his deep sorrow for the victims? Whenever so many wonderful people of the Jewish faith come together and celebrate their deserved fortune, Daniel Liebeskind must never be missed out. This wonderful architect has been chosen to build Larry Silverstein’s new WTC:
      “The architect who designed the Jewish Museum Berlin shall build the new WTC: The blueprint ‘gardens of the world’, by star-architect Daniel Liebeskind, was chosen to be the plan to build again on Ground Zero, the NYT and NY1-Television reported Thursday.” –Die Welt, Berlin, Feb 28, 2003.
      However, there were others who had the same Larry-like unmistakable instinct. Three days before September 11, some followed their instincts and began betting on falling shares of those airlines, involved in the 911 hijacking:
      “Trading with Sales-Options for United Airlines and American Airlines multiplied in the last three days before the attack.” –Spiegel online, Hamburg, Sep 19, 2003
      Profile: Larry Silverstein
      Larry Silverstein was a participant or observer in the following events:
      July 24, 2001: World Trade Centre Ownership Changes Hands For the First Time
      Larry Silverstein. [Source: Silverstein Properties publicity photo]
      Real estate development and investment firm Silverstein Properties and real estate investment trust Westfield America finalize a deal worth $3.2 billion to purchase a 99-year lease on the World Trade Centre. The agreement covers the Twin Towers, World Trade Centre Buildings 4 and 5 (two nine-story office buildings), and about 425,000 square feet of retail space. [New York Times, 4/27/2001; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 7/24/2001; IREIzine, 7/26/2001] Westfield America will be responsible for the retail space, known as the Mall. Silverstein Properties’ lease will cover the roughly 10 million square feet of office space of the Twin Towers and Buildings 4 and 5. Silverstein Properties already owns Building 7 of the WTC, which it built in 1987. This is the only time the WTC has ever changed hands since it was opened in 1973. [International Council of Shopping Centres, 4/27/2001; Westfield Group, 7/24/2001; Daily Telegraph, 9/11/2001; New York Times, 11/29/2001; CNN, 8/31/2002] It was previously controlled by the New York Port Authority, a bi-state government agency. [Wall Street Journal, 5/12/2007] Larry Silverstein, the president of Silverstein Properties, only uses $14 million of his own money for the deal. His partners put up a further $111 million, and banks provide $563 million in loans. [Brill, 2003, pp. 156] The Port Authority had carried only $1.5 billion in insurance
      coverage on all its buildings, including the WTC, but Silverstein’s lenders insist on more, eventually demanding $3.55 billion in cover. [American Lawyer, 9/3/2002] After 9/11, Larry Silverstein will claim the attacks on the World Trade Centre constituted two separate events, thereby entitling him to a double payout totalling over $7 billion. [Daily Telegraph, 10/9/2001; Guardian, 8/18/2002] Eventually, after several years of legal wrangling, a total of $4.55 billion of insurance money will be paid out for the destruction of the WTC (see May 23, 2007). Most of this appears to go to Silverstein Properties. How much goes to Westfield America is unclear. [New York Post, 5/24/2007]
      Larry Silverstein, Silverstein Properties, Westfield America, New York Port Authority, World Trade Centre
      August 23, 2001: Former FBI Al-Qaeda Expert Begins Job as Head of Security at the WTC
      John O’Neill begins his new job as head of security at the WTC. O’Neill had been the special agent in charge of the FBI’s National Security Division in New York, and was the bureau’s top expert on al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. [New York Magazine, 12/17/2001; New Yorker, 1/14/2002] He’d left his job with the FBI just the day before (see August 22, 2001). His friend Jerome Hauer, who is the former head of New York’s Office of Emergency Management, had found him the job at the World Trade Centre. Developer Larry Silverstein, who recently took over the lease of the WTC (see July 24, 2001), had been highly impressed with O’Neill but insisted he start in the post no later than the first week of September, when his firm Silverstein Properties is set to assume control of the buildings. O’Neill had agreed to this. [Weiss, 2003, pp. 336-338, 345-346 and 349-351] After hearing that O’Neill has got this job, Chris Isham, a senior producer at ABC News who is a close friend, says to him, “Well, that will be an easy job. They’re not going to bomb that place again.” O’Neill replies, “Well actually they’ve always wanted to finish that job. I think they’re going to try again.” [PBS Frontline, 5/31/2002] After a few days as the WTC security director, O’Neill will move into his new office on the 34th floor of the South Tower. [Weiss, 2003, pp. 353-354 and 366]
      John O’Neill, Jerry Hauer, Larry Silverstein, Chris Isham, World Trade Centre
      September 10, 2001: Anti-Terrorism Meeting at WTC on 9/11 is Cancelled.
      Silverstein Properties, Larry Silverstein’s company which took over the lease of the WTC weeks earlier (see July 24, 2001), has a meeting planned for the morning of 9/11 in it’s temporary offices on the 88th floor of the WTC North Tower, along with Port Authority officials. It is to discuss what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. However, this evening the meeting is cancelled because one participant cannot attend. [New York Times, 9/12/2001; Ha’aretz, 11/21/2001] Of Silverstein Properties’ 160 staff, 54 are in the North Tower when it is hit, and four of them die. [Globe and Mail, 9/7/2002]
      Larry Silverstein, Silverstein Properties, New York Port Authority
      (8:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Larry Silverstein Doesn’t Go to WTC Due to Doctor’s Appointment
      WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein is supposed to be working today in the temporary offices of his company, Silverstein Properties, on the 88th floor of the North Tower. However, at his Park Avenue apartment, Silverstein’s wife reportedly “laid down the law: The developer could not cancel an appointment with his dermatologist, even to meet with tenants at his most important property.” [New York Observer, 3/17/2003; New York Magazine, 4/18/2005] He is therefore not at the WTC when it is hit, and first hears of the attacks when an associate calls him from the lobby of one of the WTC buildings. [Real Deal, 1/2004] Two of Silverstein’s children—his son, Roger, and daughter, Lisa—work for his company and have been regularly attending meetings with WTC tenants at Windows on the World (the restaurant at the top of the North Tower). Yet this morning they are running late. According to the New York Observer, “If the attack had happened just a little later, Mr. Silverstein’s children would likely have been trapped at Windows.” [New York Observer, 3/17/2003] Fifty-four of Silverstein Properties’ 160 staff are in the North Tower when it is hit, and four of them die. [Globe and Mail, 9/7/2002] Silverstein signed the lease on the WTC less than two months previously, and later will attempt to get $7 billion in insurance for the destruction of the towers (see July 24, 2001).
      Larry Silverstein
      After 12:00 Noon September 11, 2001: Larry Silverstein Tells Fire Department Commander to ‘Pull’ WTC 7
      At some point during the afternoon of 9/11, WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein receives a phone call from the Fire Department commander, where they discuss the state of Building 7 of the WTC complex. Silverstein will discuss this call in a PBS documentary broadcast in 2002, saying that he told the commander, “You know, we’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it. And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse.” [PBS, 9/10/2002] Some people suggest that by “pull it” Silverstein meant the deliberate demolition of the building. But a spokesman for Silverstein states that he was expressing “his view that the most important thing was to protect the safety of those fire-fighters, including, if necessary, to have them withdraw from the building.” [US Department of State, 9/16/2005] Yet this claim is contradicted by some accounts, according to which fire-fighters decided early on not to attempt fighting the fires in WTC 7 (see After 10:28 a.m. September 11, 2001)(see (11:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Building 7 eventually collapses at around 5:20 in the afternoon (see (5:20 p.m.) September 11, 2001).
      Larry Silverstein
      (5:20 p.m.) September 11, 2001: WTC Building 7 Collapses; Cause Remains Unclear
      World Trade Centre Building 7 collapses down into its footprint. [Source: unknown] (click image to enlarge)Building 7 of the WTC complex, a 47-story tower, collapses. No one is killed. [CNN, 9/12/2001; Washington Post, 9/12/2001; MSNBC, 9/22/2001; Associated Press, 8/19/2002] It collapses in 6.6 seconds, which is just 0.6 of a second longer than it would have taken a free-falling object dropped from its roof to hit the ground. [Deseret Morning News, 11/10/2005] Many questions will arise over the cause of this collapse in the coming weeks and months. Building 7, which was not hit by an airplane, is the first modern, steel-reinforced high-rise to collapse because of fire. [Chicago Tribune, 11/29/2001; Stanford Report, 12/5/2001; New York Times, 3/2/2002] Some later suggest that the diesel fuel stored in several tanks on the premises may have contributed to the building’s collapse. The building contained a 6,000-gallon tank between its first and second floors and another four tanks, holding as much as 36,000 gallons, below ground level. There were also three smaller tanks on higher floors. [Chicago Tribune, 11/29/2001; New York Times, 3/2/2002; New York Observer, 3/25/2002; Federal Emergency Management Agency, 5/1/2002, pp. 1-17] However, the cause of the collapse is uncertain. A 2002 government report concludes: “The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence.” [Federal Emergency Management Agency, 5/1/2002, pp. 1-17] Some reports indicate that the building may have been deliberately destroyed. Shortly after the collapse, CBS News anchor Dan Rather comments that the collapse is “reminiscent of… when a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down.” [CBS News, 9/11/2001]
      Larry Silverstein, World Trade Centre, Dan Rather
      September 12, 2001: WTC Leaseholder Already Wants to Claim Double Insurance for Attacks and Rebuild
      Developer Larry Silverstein, who recently took over the lease of the World Trade Centre (see July 24, 2001), later tells journalist Steven Brill that he’d been so sickened by the destruction on 9/11, and by the deaths of four of his employees in the WTC, that he did not focus on insurance or financial matters until “perhaps two weeks later.” But according to two people who call him this morning to offer their sympathy, Silverstein soon changes the subject: “He had talked to his lawyers… and he had a clear legal strategy mapped out. They were going to prove, Silverstein told one of the callers, that the way his insurance policies were written the two planes crashing into the two towers had been two different ‘occurrences,’ not part of the same event. That would give him more than $7 billion to rebuild, instead of the $3.55 billion that his insurance policy said was the maximum for one ‘occurrence.’ And rebuild was just what he was going to do, he vowed.” By mid-morning, he calls his architect David Childs, and instructs him to start sketching out a plan for a new building. He tells Childs to plan to build the exact same area of office space as has been destroyed. In fact, Silverstein’s lawyers claim the developer had been on the phone to them on the evening of 9/11, wondering “whether his insurance policies could be read in a way that would construe the attacks as two separate, insurable incidents rather than one.” [Brill, 2003, pp. 18-19 and 39-40; Real Deal, 1/2004] Yet Jerome Hauer, the former director of New York’s Office of Emergency Management, had gone to Silverstein’s office on 9/11, and later claims that Silverstein’s primary concern that day had been his employees, and whether they had gotten out of the WTC. “Larry was absolutely devastated,” he says. [Weiss, 2003, pp. 374] Following a lengthy legal dispute, Silverstein will eventually receive $4.55 billion in insurance payouts for the destruction of the WTC (see May 23, 2007). [New York Post, 5/24/2007]
      Larry Silverstein, David Childs, Jerry Hauer
      May 2002: Silverstein Properties Awarded Insurance Payout for WTC 7
      Industrial Risk Insurers agrees to make a full payment under its $861 million policy for the loss of World Trade Centre Building 7, a 47-story office building which completely collapsed late in the afternoon of 9/11. [Insurance Journal, 6/7/2002; Wall Street Journal, 7/10/2002; Newsday, 10/21/2003] WTC 7 was owned by Silverstein Properties, which also acquired the lease on the Twin Towers six weeks
      before 9/11. [International Council of Shopping Centres, 4/27/2001; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 7/24/2001] Larry Silverstein, the president of Silverstein Properties, intends to use $489 million of the insurance payment to cover an existing mortgage on WTC 7, and $65 million of it for other debts and costs. The remaining $307 million will go toward the construction costs of the new WTC 7. [Bloomberg, 1/14/2003; New York Daily News, 1/14/2003] He is currently in a dispute with the carriers of his insurance on the Twin Towers, over whether the 9/11 attack constituted one or two separate events, and this will not be settled until mid-2007 (see May 23, 2007). [Wall Street Journal, 9/11/2002; New York Times, 5/23/2007]
      Larry Silverstein, Silverstein Properties, Industrial Risk Insurers, World Trade Center
      May 23, 2007: $2 Billion Settlement Ends Long Dispute Over WTC Insurance
      Insurance companies reach a $2 billion settlement with real estate development and investment firm Silverstein Properties for the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11. The agreement, which involves seven of the two-dozen insurers for the WTC, ends more than five years of legal wrangling. The other insurance companies involved have already paid out about $2.55 billion, meaning the total payout will be $4.55 billion. In September 2006, Silverstein Properties and the New York Port Authority had agreed to split the reconstruction of the WTC site between them, and to divide up the remaining insurance proceeds accordingly. Consequently, the Port Authority is to receive about $870 million from the latest settlement, while the remaining $1.13 billion will go to Silverstein Properties. [New York State, 5/23/2007; New York Times, 5/23/2007; Newsday, 5/23/2007; Reuters, 5/23/2007] Silverstein Properties acquired the lease on several of the World Trade Centre buildings, including the Twin Towers, in July 2001 (see July 24, 2001). [Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 7/24/2001] As the New York Times summarizes, “At that time, two dozen insurers had signed binders pledging to provide $3.5 billion in insurance coverage, but had not finished the documentation.” Therefore, after 9/11, an “ugly dispute developed over which insurance policy was in effect at the time of the attack. Mr. [Larry] Silverstein [the president of Silverstein Properties] argued that since two jetliners slammed into the two towers, he was entitled to a double payment on the $3.5 billion policy. But many of the insurers countered that they had agreed to a different policy that did not permit double claims.” [New York Times, 5/23/2007] In 2004, federal juries had decided that Silverstein Properties could collect a maximum of $4.68 billion for the loss of the WTC. The current settlement therefore means the insurers are obliged to pay 97.2 percent of that maximum. [Bloomberg, 5/23/2007; New York State, 5/23/2007; Newsday, 5/23/2007; Reuters, 5/23/2007] Silverstein Properties had separately been awarded $861 million of insurance money in 2002 for the loss of World Trade Centre Building 7, which also collapsed on 9/11 (see May 2002).
      Larry Silverstein, Silverstein Properties, New York Port Authority, World Trade Centre
      Taking a Closer Look: Hard Science and the Collapse of the World Trade Centre
      While none of the many 9-11 researchers knows exactly what happened on that fateful day in September, any sensible person can easily spot dozens of inconsistencies in the official story that is being forced upon us. And these inconsistencies are huge. They range from the apparent stand-down of America’s immense military arsenal (for over an hour and a half) to the small hole and lack of debris at the Pentagon. There was Bush’s bizarre, uninterrupted photo op in a Florida elementary school, and then there is the matter of the remains of Flight 93 being scattered over eight miles of Pennsylvania farmland, a fact that suggests the plane may have been shot down. The official story seems wrong on all of these points. But the focus of this article is on just one point: the odd collapse of the three buildings in the World Trade Centre complex.
      How I First Began to Question: WTC7 The World Trade Centre (WTC) contained seven buildings. The Twin Towers were called buildings One (WTC1) and Two (WTC2). They collapsed in truly astounding fashion, but the event that caused me first to question the official story about the events of 9-11 was viewing videos of the collapse of World Trade Centre Building 7 (WTC7). If you’ve forgotten, WTC7 was a 47-story building that was not hit by an airplane or by any significant debris from either WTC1 or WTC2. Buildings 3, 4, 5, and 6 were struck by massive amounts of debris from the collapsing Twin Towers, yet none collapsed, despite their thin-gauge steel supports. The 9-11 commemorative videos produced by PBS and CNN are best. Both clearly show WTC7’s implosion. Lower resolution Internet movies are also available. WTC7, which was situated on the next block over, was the farthest of the buildings from WTC1 and WTC2. WTC7 happened to contain the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), a facility that was, according to testimony to the 9-11 Commission, one of the most sophisticated Emergency Command Centres on the planet. But shortly after 5:20 pm on Sept. 11, as the horrific day was coming to a close, WTC7 mysteriously imploded and fell to the ground in an astounding 6.5 seconds. 6.5 seconds. This is a mere 0.5 seconds more than freefall in a vacuum. To restate this, a rock dropped from the 47th floor would have taken at least 6 seconds to hit the ground. WTC7, in its entirety, fell to the earth in 6.5 seconds. Now, recall, we’re supposed to believe that each floor of the building “pancaked” on the one below. Each of the 47 floors supposedly pancaked and collapsed, individually. Yet WTC7 reached the ground in 0.5 seconds longer than freefall. Is this really possible? Judge for yourself. Watch WTC7 go down. It takes 6.5 seconds. Take out your stopwatch.
      What About Towers One and Two? The odd, swift collapse of WTC7 made me reconsider the Twin Towers and how they fell. As I had with WTC7, I first studied video footage available on the web. Then I acquired and watched a DVD of the collapses, frame by frame. What struck me first was the way the second plane hit WTC2, the South Tower. I noticed that this plane, United Airlines Flight 175, which weighed over 160,000 pounds and was travelling at 350 mph, did not even visibly move the building when it slammed into it. How, I wondered, could a building that did not visibly move from a heavy high-speed projectile collapse at near freefall speed less than an hour later?
      Next, I turned my attention to steel beams that fell in freefall next to the building as it collapsed. The beams were falling at the same rate that the towers themselves were descending. Familiar with elementary physics, including principles of conservation of energy and momentum, this seemed quite impossible if the towers were indeed “pancaking,” which is the official theory.
      The height of the South Tower is 1362 feet. I calculated that from that height, freefall in a vacuum (read, absolutely no resistance on earth) is 9.2 seconds. According to testimony provided to the 9-11 Commission, the tower fell in 10 seconds. Other data shows it took closer to 14 seconds. So the towers fell within 0.8-4.8 seconds of freefall in a vacuum. Just like WTC7, this speed seemed impossible if each of the 110 floors had to fail individually.
      As I was considering this, another problem arose. There is a principle in physics called the Law of Conservation of Energy. There is also the Law of Conservation of Momentum. I’ll briefly explain how these principles work. Let’s assume there are two identical Honda Civics on the freeway. One is sitting in neutral at a standstill (0 mph). The other is coasting at 60 mph. The second Honda slams into the back of the first one. The first Honda will then instantaneously be going much faster than it was, and the second will instantaneously be going much slower than it was. This is how the principle works in the horizontal direction, and it works the same in the vertical direction, with the added constant force of gravity added to it. Jim Hoffman, a professional scientist published in several peer-reviewed scientific journals, took a long look at all of this. He calculated that even if the structure itself offered no resistance, that is to say, even if the 110 floors of each tower were hovering in mid-air, the “pancake” theory would still have taken a minimum of 15.5 seconds to reach the ground. So, even if the building essentially didn’t exist, if it provided no resistance at all to the collapse, just the floors hitting each other and causing each other to decelerate would’ve taken 15.5 seconds to reach the ground. But of course the buildings did exist. They had stood for over 30 years. The floors weren’t hovering in mid-air. So how did the building provide no resistance? Yet another observation one makes in watching the collapsing towers is the huge dust clouds and debris, including steel beams that were thrown hundreds of feet out horizontally from the towers as they fell. If we are to believe the pancake theory, this amount of scattering debris, fine pulverized concrete dust, and sheetrock powder would clearly indicate massive resistance to the vertical collapse. So there is an impossible conflict. You either have a miraculous, historical, instantaneous, catastrophic failure that occurs within a fraction of a second of freefall and that kicks out little dust, or you have a solid, hefty building that remains virtually unaffected after a massive, speeding projectile hits it. You either have a house of cards or a house of bricks. The building either resists its collapse or it doesn’t. And we know the WTC Towers were made of reinforced steel and concrete that would act much more like bricks than cards. Thus, put simply, the floors could not have been pancaking. The buildings fell too quickly. The floors must all have been falling simultaneously to reach the ground in such a short amount of time. But how? What About the Fires? The official story maintains that fires weakened the buildings. Jet fuel supposedly burned so hot it began to melt the steel columns supporting the towers. But steel-
      framed skyscrapers have never collapsed from fire, since they’re built from steel that doesn’t melt below 2750 degrees Fahrenheit. No fuel, not even jet fuel, which is really just refined kerosene, will burn hotter than 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. Steel-framed skyscrapers have never collapsed from fire. It’s also odd that WTC7, which wasn’t hit by an airplane or by any significant debris, collapsed in strikingly similar fashion to the Twin Towers. There wasn’t even any jet fuel or kerosene burning in WTC7. According to the 9-11 report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “the specifics of the fires in WTC7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time.” Aside from its startling nonchalance, this statement makes a rather profound assumption. Again, no building prior to 9-11, in the 100-plus year history of steel frame buildings, had ever collapsed from fire.
      This fact was known to firemen. Hence their unflinching rush up into the skyscrapers to put out the fire. Partly it was bravery, to be sure, but partly it was concrete knowledge that skyscrapers do not collapse due to fire. Yet after 100 years, three collapsed in one day. Did the FEMA investigators not think to ask the New York City Fire Department how they thought the fire started, or how the fires could have caused the astounding, historical collapse? This would seem to be an elementary step in any investigation about a fire. Instead, they chose to leave the cause of the collapse “unknown.”
      Conclusion So if the science in this article is correct (none of it goes beyond the tenth grade level), then we know that the floors of the three WTC buildings were not pancaking but were falling simultaneously. We also know that fire is an insufficient explanation for the initiation of the collapse of the buildings. Why, then, did the three WTC buildings fall? There is a method that has been able to consistently get skyscrapers to fall as fast as the three buildings of the World Trade Centre fell on 9-11. In this method, each floor
      of a building is destroyed at just the moment the floor above is about to strike it. Thus, the floors fall simultaneously and in virtual freefall. This method, when precisely used, has indeed given near-freefall speed to demolitions of buildings all over the world in the past few decades. This method could have brought down WTC7 in 6.5 seconds. This method is called controlled demolition. A controlled demolition would have exploded debris horizontally at a rapid rate. A controlled demolition would also explain the fine, pulverized concrete powder, whereas pancaking floors would leave chunks of concrete. Controlled demolition would also explain the seismic evidence recorded nearby of two small earthquakes, each just before one of the Twin Towers collapsed. And finally, controlled demolition would explain why three steel skyscrapers, two of which were struck by planes and one of which wasn’t, all collapsed in essentially the same way.
      Ongoing Questions But having established that all three WTC towers had to have been assisted in their failures, I asked myself, Who could have planted the explosives to blow up the buildings in a controlled demolition? Could fundamentalist Muslim fanatics have gotten the plans for those buildings, engineered the demolition, and then gotten into them to plant the explosives? This seemed improbable. And after learning that WTC7 housed the FBI, CIA, and the OEM, it seemed impossible. Then I thought, Why would terrorists engineer a building to implode? Wouldn’t they want to cause even more damage to the surrounding buildings and possibly create more havoc and destruction from debris exploding away from the building? And if they’d planted explosives in the buildings, why would they have bothered hijacking and flying planes into them? Perhaps WTC7 was demolished to destroy evidence that would answer these questions. To this day, I don’t know. But this is how I began to question the official story about 9-11.
      Recently I learned that President Bush’s brother, Marvin Bush, is a part owner of the company that not only provided security for both United and American Airlines, but also for the World Trade Centre complex itself. I also discovered that Larry Silverstein, who had bought the leasing rights for the WTC complex from the NY/NJ Port Authority in May of 2001 for $200 million, had received a $3.55 billion insurance settlement right after 9-11 – yet he was suing for an additional $3.55 billion by claiming the two hits on the towers constituted two separate terrorist attacks! He stood to make $7 billion dollars on a four month investment. Talk about motive.
      In conclusion, I’ll repeat myself. None of the many 9-11 researchers can definitively say exactly what happened on that fateful day in September. But any sensible person can easily spot dozens of inconsistencies in the official story that is being forced upon us. And the fact is, most of the available 9-11 evidence points to at least some level of government complicity or foreknowledge.
      Please, read more for yourself. Don’t take my word for it. Most of all, do not buy the double-speak that visible politicians and the media use to discount any question about 9-11. Clearly, there are no “conspiracy theories” surrounding 9-11. The official story itself affirms that there was obviously some kind of conspiracy. It’s just a question of which conspiracy occurred. We know it wasn’t mere coincidence that several hijackers happened to be on several different airplanes and happened to hijack them at the exact same time and happened to pick the World Trade Centre as a target. The real question is, “Who was involved in the conspiracy?”
      Dave Heller, who has degrees in physics and architecture, is a builder and engaged citizen in Berkeley, California.
      Well, Larry, what have you to say about those facts? If the Goyim ever find out that you were behind the deaths of more than 3,000 Americans and the thousands that will die from Asbestosis from WTC 1, WTC 2 and WTC 7, then there will be indeed another Holocaust someday in the future.
      Yours sincerely,

  10. Spencer 13 years ago

    Thanks for the detailed response, much appreciated!

  11. mike 11 years ago

    mercola… coke a cola = both unhealthy in large quanities, but only coke a cola will clean yor battery

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