David Ray Griffin

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ISBN 9780664230098

David Ray Griffin (born 1939) is a retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology and a proponent of 9/11 conspiracy theories that implicate members of the United States government in the attacks.[1], The Disbelievers - 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists Are Building Their Case Against the Government From Ground Zero, Washington PostAlong with John B. Cobb, Jr. he is considered a foundational thinker in Process theology.


Dr. David Ray Griffin is a longtime resident of Santa Barbara, California, was a full-time academic from 1973 until April 2004, and is currently a co-director of the Center for Process Studies, and one of the foremost contemporary exponents of process theology, founded on the process philosophies of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. He is also a leading exponent of theories questioning the Bush Administration's account of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Griffin grew up in a small town in Oregon, where he was an active participant in his Disciples of Christ church. After deciding to become a minister, Griffin entered Northwest Christian College, but became disenchanted with the conservative-fundamentalist theology that was taught there. While getting his master’s degree in counseling from the University of Oregon, Griffin attended a lecture series delivered by Paul Tillich at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. At this time, Griffin made his decision to focus on philosophical theology. He eventually attended the Claremont Graduate University, where Griffin received his Ph.D. in 1970.

As a student in Claremont, Griffin was initially interested in Eastern religions, particularly Vedanta. However, he started to become a process theologian while attending John B. Cobb’s seminar on Whitehead’s philosophy. According to Griffin, process theology, as presented by Cobb, “provided a way between the old supernaturalism, according to which God miraculously interrupted the normal causal processes now and then, and a view according to which God is something like a cosmic hydraulic jack, exerting the same pressure always and everywhere (which described rather aptly the position to which I had come)", (Primordial Truth and Postmodern Theology). While applying Whitehead’s thought to the traditional theological subjects of christology and theodicy, Griffin found that process theology also provided a sound basis for addressing contemporary social and ecological issues.

After teaching theology and Eastern religions at the University of Dayton, Griffin came to appreciate the distinctively postmodern aspects of Whitehead’s thought. In particular, Griffin found Whitehead’s nonsensationist epistemology and panexperientialist ontology immensely helpful in addressing the major problems of modern philosophy, including the problems of mind-body interaction, the interaction between free and determined things, the emergence of experience from nonexperiencing matter, and the emergence of time in the evolutionary process. In 1973, Griffin returned to Claremont to establish, with Cobb, the Center for Process Studies.

While on research leave in 1980-81 at Cambridge University and Berkeley, the contrast between modernity and postmodernity became central to his work. Many of Griffin’s writings are devoted to developing postmodern proposals for overcoming the conflicts between religion and modern science. Griffin came to believe that much of the tension between religion and science was not only the result of reactionary supernaturalism, but also the mechanistic worldview associated with the rise of modern science in the seventeenth century. In 1983, Griffin started the Center for a Postmodern World in Santa Barbara, and became editor of the SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Philosophy between 1987 and 2004.

September 11, 2001 attack theories

Since his retirement, he has moved his focus from questions of philosophy and religion to one of politics and, specifically, questioning the 9/11 attacks. His recent work includes the book, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9-11 (2004) and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, books in which he argues there is evidence members of the United States government were behind the September 11, 2001 attacks, and Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action in which he summarizes some of what he believes is evidence for government complicity and reflects on its implications for Christians.

The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, publishers of Griffin's Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, noted that Griffin is a distinguished theologian, and praised the book’s religious content, but said, "The board believes the conspiracy theory is spurious and based on questionable research." [2] Presbyterian publishing board criticizes own book [3]

In The New Pearl Harbor, Griffin supports the work of other theorists who assert that elements of the US government were behind the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City. He purports to use his training in logic to analyze the validity of their arguments. Griffin states the overall thesis of his argument: There should be a well funded and thorough-going investigation of all the questions raised about the 9/11 attack. Griffin also appeared on C-SPAN that covered his talk, '9/11 and American Empire: How should religious people respond?'[4]

In an interview with Nick Welsh, Thinking Unthinkable Thoughts: Theologian Charges White House Complicity in 9/11 Attack [5], Griffin analyzes charges that the US government sent airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and these airplanes were only a cover for explosives that the US government had planted within the World Trade Center towers and 7 World Trade Center. Griffin also talked with Alex Jones. [6]

The second edition of The New Pearl Harbor contains additional material on the Saudi Arabian hijackers, Sibel Edmonds, his analysis of the official 9/11 Commission set up by the US government, and his belief that the US Government deliberately changed its standard rules for analyzing military intelligence in order to allow the attacks.

The New Pearl Harbor purports to identify unanswered questions concerning the 9/11 attacks, using a model of attempting to fit them first into a conspiracy/complicity theory, and then to a coincidence/incompetence theory. He further explores the contradictions inherent in each theory, concluding with the need for a full and independent investigation led by the press.

Critics of Griffin's thesis, such as Chip Berlet, say that many of the claims in the book are refutable.[7] Griffin has rejected these criticisms [8] and debated Berlet[9]. Other reviewers like Mike Williams claim to have found various problems [10][11].

In a review published in the magazine The Nation, former CIA agent Robert Baer dismissed the gist of Griffin's writings as one in a long line of conspiracy theories about national tragedies, but stated that the Bush administration had created a climate of secrecy and mistrust that helped generate such explanations ("Dangerous Liaisons," September 27, 2004).



  • Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition, with John B. Cobb, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976, ISBN 0-664-24743-1
  • God, Power, and Evil: A Process Theodicy, 1991
  • Parapsychology, Philosophy, and Spirituality: A Postmodern Exploration, SUNY Press, 1997, ISBN 0-791-43315-3
  • The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9-11, Olive Branch Press, 2004, ISBN 1-566-56552-9
  • The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, Olive Branch Press, 2004, ISBN 1-566-56584-7
  • Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action, Westminster John Knox Press, 2006, ISBN 0-664-23117-9
  • The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God: A Political, Economic, Religious Statement, with John B. Cobb, Richard A. Falk and Catherine Keller, Westminster John Knox Press, 2006, ISBN 0-664-23009-1
  • 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, Vol. 1, editor, with Peter Dale Scott, Olive Branch Press, 2006, ISBN 1-566-56659-2
  • Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, Arris Books, 2007, ISBN 1-566-56686-X

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