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Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Wednesday, 8 June 2011 08:56 UK

Down 'the rabbit hole of conspiracism'

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Why do sensible people sometimes believe the most unlikely conspiracy theories?

The columnist Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground, has been investigating the phenomena for two and a half years.

In all that time, he told Evan Davis, "I can confess that I did not win a single argument with a conspiracy theorist".

The quality that binds conspiracy theorists together, he explained, was distrust - of government, media and organised religion.

"There is an impulse to align ideology with facts. They want to make the world as they imagine it appear as the world as it is."


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