The boardroom at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the American Institute of Architects is an impressive place: Beautiful concentric wooden desks, with microphones in front of every seat, encircle a small central dais, offering the impression that important discussions are had here. “It feels like the United Nations,” a guest recently commented.
This room recently served as a peculiar venue for the 23rd stop on the 30-city “world premiere tour” of AIA member Richard Gage’s new film 9/11: Explosive Evidence—Experts Speak Out: Final Edition.
Since 2006, Gage has been traveling all over the world under the banner of his organization, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth—an organization that has no affiliation with the AIA, express or otherwise—to preach the theory that the Twin Towers and 7 World Trade Center were actually brought down by explosives on September 11, 2001, and not the impact of two hijacked jetliners and the resulting fires and debris.
What was even more surreal than the late June screening location for his latest presentation of this argument, though, was hearing the types of speeches that accompany such an absurd event be given in such an austere room.
“I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into believing that our government and the Israeli government, the Israeli Mossad, could be responsible for the Twin Towers demolition,” one member of the DC chapter of 911truth.org declared from the AIA-emblazoned podium.
“At least three firefighters in New York at Ground Zero who came upon a large store of gold at the Twin Towers were executed by FBI… every official story turns out to be a lie,” another local activist said to applause.
Gage feigned to distance his organization, the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, from these remarks, calling the gold story “related” to his work but less “helpful” to its mission than his “irrefutable scientific evidence” that the skyscrapers were brought down by explosives.
The AIA itself, however, is firm about its relationship with Gage. “We don’t have any relationship with his organization whatsoever,” Scott Frank, head of media relations for the AIA, told me.
The former employee of the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based architectural firm Akol & Yoshii is a full-time 9/11 conspiracy theorist, but Gage tries to maintain a façade of being a scientist asking scientific questions. He does his best to avoid the murkier political questions of who could have orchestrated a conspiracy theory and cover-up of the size and scope that the 9/11 conspiracy movement alleges, but his technical views are actually quite mainstream within the Truth movement.