What’s lurking beneath the Denver International Airport? Is the Earth flat? Is the world secretly run by shape-shifting lizards? And how is it possible that the former Prime Minister of Australia vanished without a trace while he was in office?

These are real questions posed by conspiracy theorists. And increasingly, belief in unhinged ideas about how the world really works have entered the political mainstream. After all, the President of the United States has spread a series of blatantly false conspiracy theories—even after they have been debunked over, and over, and over.

In this episode, we explore where these conspiracy theories come from; why they spread so fast; why certain people are drawn to them more than others; and whether anything can be done to convince the true believers that they’re going down an insane rabbit hole.

We speak to a diehard believer in the bogus QAnon conspiracy; hear from a world-leading expert on conspiracy theory belief who has been accused of secretly being on the government payroll; and do a bit of investigative journalism to see if the Illuminati has a secret lair beneath the Denver International Airport.

Executive Producer: George McDonagh

Producer and sound editing on this episode was done by Alex Portfelix.