Remembering TRANSCEND Member Graeme MacQueen (1948 – 25 Apr 2023)
OBITUARIES, 1 May 2023
Dr. Graeme MacQueen died at home in Ontario from cancer on 25 Apr 2023 in the presence of his wife and daughter, Sharon and Jessica. He leaves behind his brother Ken and sisters Meg and Lorna.
26 Apr 2023 – In the summer of 2006, at the newly formed Journal of 9/11 Studies, we received a submission from a Canadian professor named Graeme MacQueen. The paper was entitled “118 Witnesses: The Firefighter’s Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers.” After peer-review comments were addressed, it was published and has become one of the most important articles in the 9/11 literature.
For the next seventeen years, Graeme went on to lead the 9/11 truth movement through his outstanding scholarship, his thoughtful approach, and his ability to instill trust in colleagues. Along with his remarkable intelligence and wide-ranging analytical skills, MacQueen’s dedication to peace and justice made him a force to be reckoned with. Although he became the leading expert on testimonies related to 9/11, including those from firefighters, first responders, and media sources, he contributed much more to the cause and his contributions will continue to light the way forward.
Our shared interests in 9/11 truth and Buddhism led us to become good friends. Graeme was an internationally recognized Buddhist scholar as I learned when reading random books on the subject at my local library. The text of a talk he gave at the University of Michigan in 1988, which he allowed me to publish on my blog years later, helped me to understand how he was different from other Buddhist leaders. He was the “unsmiling bodhisattva,” who did not act only with words—he put his whole life on the line for living beings.
In 2008, Graeme arrived in Bloomington, Indiana to give a presentation along with Canadian psychologist Laurie Manwell at the sold out Buskirk-Chumley Theater. His presentation, called “The Fictional Basis for the War on Terror,” was well-received and our discussions with Laurie in Bloomington initiated planning for a larger event to take place on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. That later event became the Toronto Hearings, which the three of us organized together with Adnan Zuberi and James Gourley.
Graeme and I went on to work together at other events to raise awareness, but also at the Journal of 9/11 Studies, where he authored several more groundbreaking papers including two focused on physical evidence. These were “The Missing Jolt: A Simple Refutation of the NIST-Bazant Collapse Hypothesis,” with engineer Tony Szamboti, and “Did the Earth Shake Before the South Tower Hit the Ground?”
A few years later Graeme became my co-editor at the Journal and served in that capacity for about five years. The deep respect people had for Graeme’s scholarship and his collaborative personality led to the submission of numerous excellent articles on various subjects. Due to his influence, we received submissions from esteemed philosopher John McMurtry, sociologist Edward Curtin, political scientist Peter Dale Scott, and attorney Stephen J. Looney, among others.
Graeme became recognized as a leading expert on 9/11 and, during this time, he published his highly influential book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy. The book establishes through careful analysis that the anthrax attacks were crimes committed by a group of people associated with the U.S. executive branch who were linked to, or identical with, those who committed the 9/11 crimes.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Graeme, from my perspective, is that he worked for peace and justice until his dying day. As with David Ray Griffin, who thought very highly of Graeme, he was diligent and very productive throughout the illness that took his life. He authored yet another book, this time in free, digital format that pulls together many of his most compelling writings. He completed interviews for an upcoming film that brings to light his tremendous contributions and undying commitment to peace. And he helped found a new organization that will lead research into the 9/11 crimes for many years to come.
Dr. Graeme MacQueen was a distinguished scholar and an exceptional human being long before I ever met him. Others who know more about his past will undoubtedly recount many remarkable aspects of his life. His founding of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University is often cited as an accomplishment that represented his nature. I know that he authored or edited books on religion and non-violence and led peace initiatives in the war zones of Afghanistan, Croatia, Gaza, and Sri Lanka. He was also a dedicated husband and father and he often spoke of his wife and daughter.
Everyone who knew Graeme will miss him dearly. I’ll be forever grateful for his friendship and his leadership.
Prof. Graeme MacQueen was a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and co-author, with Johan Galtung, of Globalizing God: Religion, Spirituality and Peace (TRANSCEND University Press 2008). MacQueen was founding director of the Centre for Peace Studies at the McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he taught for 30 years. He held a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University and was an organizer of the Toronto Hearings on 9/11, a member of the Consensus 9/11 Panel, and a former co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. RIP
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