Not exactly a "former believer", however Adam Taylor, who has written a lot for the 9/11 Truth Movement is withdrawing from the movement, and closing his blog:
Interesting is his account of how he kicked the habit:
I guess you could call [this] my official statement of retirement from the Truth Movement. It's been something I've planned to do for a long time now, and today of all days seems like the right time to do it. For whatever successes the movement has had, it seems as though its failures have overtaken them, hence why we still have yet to get a new investigation. From 2008 to 2011, the movement still had energy to it, still that hope of accomplishing our goal of getting an investigation. But for the last several years, I've felt next to no energy from it, no hope, and no motivation. Ironically, I felt the first signs of this at another 10-year anniversary; the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
After the 10-year anniversary came and went, the next several years showed me more signs that the movement was coming to a close. Despite the fact that we had finally gotten numerous papers published in peer-reviewed journals, we didn't seem to be getting any closer to our goal. Even the paper from Steven Jones that showed actual evidence of explosives in the debris wasn't enough to do it, and I thought if any paper could do it, it'd be that one. But not only did it not pave the way for a new investigation, a counter-study had been published by James Millette, casting doubt on the validity of it all. Sure enough, responses were posted, and there was promise of a third study of the WTC dust meant to finally answer the question of whether or not we had actual evidence of explosives being used. But this study, undertaken by Mark Basile, has now taken longer than Steven Jones' and James Millette's studies combined. The last thing I've seen posted about it isn't promising, and I honestly doubt any such study is going to be completed. If it does get done, great. But until I see results, I see no reason to get my hopes up.
I think this kind of conspiracy fatigue is a way of exiting the rabbit hole for many people. While they don't give up their conspiracy beliefs, the lack of progress leaves them disinclined to do anything more about it. They don't need to watch conspiracy videos every day. They take a break, and when they return they see the movement a little more for what it really is - a stagnant mess of suspicion and contradiction - generally well-meaning, but directionless and error-prone.That gets me to the debunkers. Or, more specifically, one debunker; Ryan Mackey. A few years ago I read his paper analyzing the Truth Movement, and while there's plenty in it I would disagree with, I found several of his points worth considering. One of those being a simple suggestion he had for truthers:
To those still interested in the Truth Movement, I make only one suggestion: Take a break. Give yourself a full month away from the Truth Movement. Don’t argue on-line, don’t watch videos. For that matter, don’t read responses from skeptics, either. I don’t want you to be concerned about being “brainwashed” by debunkers – stay away from them as well. After this time has passed, feel free to get involved again and see if your perspective has changed. However, if you cannot set it aside for a month, and I do mean to set it aside completely, this should be a warning sign to you. After all, September 11th was over ten years ago. Nothing bad will happen if you leave it alone for a month. Give it a try. (p. 63)
Again, there's plenty I think Mackey's gotten wrong. But in this case, I thought he had something here. So I decided to take his advice. Or rather, I should say I've been taking his advice. For the past couple of years, I've had periods where I've literally gone months without interacting with any 9/11-related material. And I honestly didn't feel bad about it. Sure, I've gone back to looking into from time to time, but I never felt as though I were missing anything, that anything had been lost from taking a break. It was actually pretty easy. And I think the reason for that is largely due to the state I've seen the movement currently in. With the way things are going, I can't see how we're going to accomplish our goals. I can't say it any plainer or any clearer: We are not going to get a new investigation. I know that's a hard pill for many of my fellow truthers to swallow, but I can't see any way around it.
And so, with this post I announce my official departure from the movement. This means I will not be taking part in any more Truth Movement activities. No more videos. No more blog posts. No more 9/11 activism of any kind. For me, 10 years is enough.
It also means I will be discontinuing my personal blog. I will still leave it up and mostly intact, but I will not be writing there any more. Seriously, I'm done.