Millions of people around the world have convinced themselves
that the perpetrators of 9/11 were not al-Qaeda terrorists but
elements within the U.S. government seeking a pretext to launch
wars abroad and enact draconian laws at home. These ?9/11 Truthers?
are not alone. They are part of a vast conspiracist subculture that
is spreading like wildfire on the Internet, is deeply distrustful
of mainstream media and is beginning to influence mainstream
politics. For two years, Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay has been
researching the underground world of conspiracy theorists by
attending their conventions, infiltrating their Internet discussion
boards and surfing their websites. While many individual conspiracy
theories seem harmless, even amusing, the phenomenon is doing real
damage to the unity and health of North American society.
Since the assassination of JFK, conspiracy thinking has
proliferated, and the Internet has fostered the growth of numerous
alternate mental worlds in which traditional media and academia
have no authority. 9/11 was a death blow to this older consensual
view of reality, and as a result, North Americans no longer inhabit
one cognitive universe. What this means for the future of politics,
and our society at large, is the ultimate subject of this book.