The Toronto Hearings on 9/11: Academics Examine the Evidence, Uncover the Deception

For the 13th anniversary commemoration of  9/11 we invite our readers to listen to the Global Research News Hour Series on this controversial topic.

First aired in 2013, the 5 episodes highlight the research undertaken into the World Trade Center attacks and the need for a renewed investigation. 

Episode 1

Inside the 9/11 Hearings: Uncovering Deception, Demanding the Truth

From September 8 to September 11, 2011, a gathering of researchers, experts and activists converged on the campus of Ryerson University in Toronto to review what was then the most up to date information with regard to the ten year old tragedy.

Throughout the four day event, speakers challenged the views that the attacks were carried out by an outside enemy and that they were successful because of US intelligence failures. 


Lance deHaven-Smith is a Professor in the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. A former President of the Florida Political Science Association, he is the author, co-author, or editor of 15 books on topics ranging from religion and political philosophy to Florida government and politics. He is the author of Conspiracy Theory in America published last April by University of Texas Press. In his September 8 talk, he addressed what he called ‘State Crimes Against Democracy’ (SCADs).

David Ray Griffin is a retired Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology from the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont California. He has written or contributed to twelve books on the topic of the 9/11 attacks including his most recent – 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed. He spoke on Day One of the Toronto Hearings on the topic of ‘The Inadequacies of the 9/11 Commission Report.’

Kevin Ryan is a chemist and Laboratory Manager and was the site manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories, before he was fired in 2004 for publicly questioning the report drafted by the National Institute on Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center collapse investigation. He has continued to research the World Trade Center attacks and works as co-editor of the on-line Journal of 911 Studies. In his September 8 presentation, he discusses his assessment of the inadequacies of NIST’s 9/11 investigation.

Episode 2

Examining the Evidence of 9/11: Inside the Toronto Hearings

Much of the critique of 9/11 scepticism tends to focus on the absurdity of the proposition: even if Bush and company were smart enough to carry out such a sophisticated attack, how could they keep it secret from the American public? Someone would have squealed.

Such criticism ignores the proven fact that the State has and does carry out black operations and can and does keep high level secrets, the secrecy around the Manhattan Project being an important case in point.


Lori Van Auken is the widow of Kenneth Van Auken who perished in the September 11 attacks. She joined with fellow 9/11 widows Patty Casaza, Kristen Breitweiser, and Mindy Kleinberg to form a group known as the Jersey Girls who successfully pressured the government into forming a commission of inquiry into the 9/1 attacks. Her video-taped message opened the Toronto hearings on September 8, 2011.

Barbara Honneger a former White House Policy Analyst and a senior military affairs journalist with the naval postgraduate school. The focus of her September 9 talk was eyewitness accounts and evidence that explosions rather than an airplane strike were responsible for damage at the Pentagon.

Paul Zarembka is Professor of Economics at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since 1977 he has been the editor for general research into Political economy. He is author of the bookToward a Theory of Economic Development, and editor of Frontiers in Econometrics. He also author of the 2008 book The Hidden History of 9/11. In his talk, he discussed the evidence of Insider trading in American and United Airlines stock suggesting US Intelligence foreknowledge.

Jay Kolar is a freelance writer and film studies instructor. He contributed to Zarembka’s book The Hidden History of 9/11 and spoke on September 9, Day 2 of the Toronto Hearings, on the flaws in the official account of what was known about the alleged 9/11 hijackers.

Michel Chossudovsky is Emeritus professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and an award-winning author. He heads the Centre for Research On Globalization and is the author of several books on geo-politics including America’s “War on Terrorism”, and The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order. On Day 2 of the Hearings, he reviewed his own research of Al-Qaeda as a US Intelligence asset and spoke to the implications of 9/11 to the larger US and global military doctrines.

Episode 3

9/11 Truth: Evidence of Controlled Demolition of the World Trade Center

In his 2011 book AMONG THE TRUTHERS: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground author Jonathan Kay deliberately avoids a discussion of evidence. He takes it as a given that the official story of 9/11 is correct and chooses instead to investigate the 9/11 Truth movement as a sociological and psychological phenomenon. He classifies Richard Gage, for example, as being motivated by ‘middle-age ennui.’[1]

Perhaps similar analyses could be directed toward historical figures like Darwin, Einstein and Galileo who similarly proposed views that contradicted what was believed in their time.

Whatever the psychological foibles or quirks of the researcher in question, this week’s speakers provide seemingly strong and sound arguments contradicting the official depiction of events.


Richard Gage is a San Francisco-based architect, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and member of the American Institute of Architects  He has over 23 years of experience working with most types of building construction, including fire-proofed steel frame structures like the World Trade Center towers. Given his technical expertise, his numerous media apearances, his video Blueprint for Truth which has attracted a world-wide audience, and his compelling multi-media presentation, Gage has become among the 9/11 Truth movement’s most sought after figures. His Toronto presentation focused on evidence of the use of explosives in the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers.

David Chandler is a physics teacher with a Master of Science Degree in mathematics from the California Polytechnique State University Pomona. He has published lucid on-line articles on the physical principles observervable in the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. In particular, his article WTC7: NIST Admits Free Fall focuses on the significant errors and discrepancies in the National Institute for Standards and Technology official explanation of this third collapse. It is these very errors and discrepancies that form the basis for Chandler’s talk on Day 3 (September 10) of the Hearings.

Graeme MacQueen received his PhD in Comparative Religion from Harvard University, and served as an instructor in McMaster University’s Department of Religious Studies. He is also a noted figure in the peace movement having helped found the McMaster Centre for Peace Studies in 1989. He is a recognized authority on aspects of the evidence relating to 9/11. His presentation centres on a compilation of eyewitness evidence of explosions in the collapses of the World Trade Center Twin Towers.

Episode 4

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11: Academics Examine the Evidence

As of this writing, the group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth lists close to 2000 accredited professionals with relevant credentials as not believing the official explanation of the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers. Moreover, according to the University of Waterloo 9/11 research Group, there are as many as 18 peer-reviewed papers addressing the 9/11 attacks in a way that is skeptical of the official story.

The arguments countering the official story of the September 11 can no longer be fairly dismissed or marginalized as the ‘conspiratorial musings’ of undisciplined minds and paranoid souls. A new and independent investigation into the event that has triggered the deadly, destructive and expensive “War on Terrorism” is fully warranted.


Jonathan Cole is a professional engineer licensed in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Florida with 28 years of experience. For more than ten years he has been the head of a mid-size engineering firm with some 25 employees. And in addition to designing large scale engineering projects, he has performed services as an expert witness in his field. He serves as director of the board of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Cole’s presentation focuses on the official 9/11 account, and the scientific method.

Cynthia McKinney served as a Democratic member of the US Congress from 1992 to 2002, and again from 2004 to 2006. She ran as a US Presidential candidate on the Green Party ticket in 2008. McKinney has been active with the civil rights and anti-war movements. As well, she has been the only US Elected representative to openly question the role of the US Government in deliberately perpetrating the September 11 attacks. In her talk, McKinney contextualizes 9/11 from a Washington insider’s perspective.

Niels Harrit is an Associate Professor of Chemistry from the University of Copenhagen and author of more than 60 of the most prominent scientific journals in his field. Professor Harrit spoke to the Toronto Hearings on the subject of thermitic material in the world trade center dust, the subject of his 2009 peer-reviewed article.

Peter Dale Scott held varying positions in the Canadian diplomatic service before establishing a career as an English professor at University of California – Berkeley until he retired from that position in 1994. He is a poet of high stature and a public intellectual known for his anti-war stances and his criticism of US foreign policy. He has authored numerous books which provide a conceptual framework for the deep structures underlying such activities as political assassinations, state-sponsored drug trafficking and state terrorism. The topic of Professor Scott’s talk at the Toronto Hearings was the history of Deep State activities with special reference to 9/11.

Episode 5

9/11 Truth: More from the Toronto Hearings

Before one can truly come to terms with the truth behind the September 2001 attacks, one must first overcome a lot of psychological resistance.

Our perspective on events that we witness is shaped by the ideologies and pre-conceptions we carry with us. State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs) as Laurie Manwell points out in her presentation at the Toronto Hearings, provide a profound challenge to our most closely guarded beliefs about government and democracy.

As a result, the general public can react dismissively, even derisively, when confronted with alternative explanations of State crimes such as political assassinations and State Terrorism.

Overcoming these psychological barriers therefore implies a thorough understanding of the role of media in reinforcing the narrative of State authorities.


Kevin Ryan is a chemist and Laboratory Manager and was the site manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories, before he was fired in 2004 for publicly questioning the report drafted by the National Institute on Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center collapse investigation. He has continued to research the World Trade Center attacks and works as co-editor of the on-line Journal of 911 Studies. In his presentation on Day 3 of the Hearings, Ryan focuses on the evidence of much higher temperatures in the presence of the Trade Center debris than acknowledged in the NIST findings.

Laurie Manwell is a PhD candidate in behavioural neuroscience and toxicology at the University of Guelph. She contributed to a special issue of the journal American Behavioural Scientist devoted to what are called ‘State Crimes Against Democracy’ and to psychological resistance to embracing alternative accounts of such events. This paper was the basis of her presentation on the final day of the Toronto Hearings.

David Ray Griffin is a retired Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology from the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. He has written or contributed to twelve books on the topic of the 9/11 attacks including his most recent – 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed. On the fourth and final day of the Hearings, Griffin spoke on the anomalies in Flights 77 and 93.

Mike Gravel served as US Senator for Alaska from 1969 to 1981. He ran as a third party presidential candidate in 2008 and continues to champion progressive policies on global warming, taxation, health care, human rights and peacemaking. Senator Gravel spoke on Day 4 of the Hearings on the topic of the importance of resistance to State deception: The Pentagon Papers and 9/11 and the need for a new investigation.

Bob McIlvaine is the father of Bobby McIlvaine, a Princeton University graduate who served as Assistant Vice-president of Media Relations for Merrill Lynch and perished the morning of September 11 while en route to a banking conference in the World Trade Center North tower. One of the most outspoken 9/11 Family members, Bob attended every 9/11 Commission hearing and has appeared in several 9/11 Truth conferences.

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