In the last few years we have seen a significant rise in the belief of conspiracy theories. From the dismissal of facts as fake news to the full embrace of conspiracy theories by politicians and commentators, we face an uncertain future. Democracy is under attack and our open and free societies are in danger due to a dangerous mind virus. Conspiracism is the new pandemic. 


In this limited series podcast (and book) I will be exploring how and why anyone can fall into the web of conspiracism, drawing on the personal experience of ex-believers, with added commentary from experts.


My name is Brent Lee. In 2003, I fell down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories. For the next 15 years I was an outspoken believer in the New World Order / Illuminati Grand Conspiracy Theory. I was invested in the belief that all bodies of governmental power were merely a facade; that a secret cabal was really running the show. This belief structure was predicated upon a belief that many other mysterious and tragic events like JFK, 9/11, etc… served to further the greater conspiracy.


Conspiracy theories in our modern era are like digital folklore or a game of Telephone. We add onto them, changing them in the process and then we infect others with this altered narrative. 


This belief system became the very core of my life. I lived and breathed it. Not only did I subscribe to these beliefs, but I would eventually spread them onto others. I helped create them and added to the lore through my blogs, music and videos. I made friends from across the world, united for this cause. I even met my partner through this community. 


I opted out of normal society and chose not to pursue a career, get a mortgage or start a family as I believed the “Secret Cabal” would soon rise up as our overt masters; no longer content to be relegated as secret rulers. I had invested my entire life into this ideology. I was a ‘Truth Activist.’


And then in 2018…I walked away from it all. I spent the next three years deconstructing this belief system and figuring out why I fell into it in the first place.


In 2021, I witnessed the mainstreaming of conspiracism with the rise of QAnon, COVID and the Jan. 6th insurrection. I saw the real world consequences of these dangerous ideas and I decided that it was time to speak out in the hopes that my story could perhaps convince other conspiracy theorists to leave the rabbit hole behind. 


Since coming forward, I often receive messages from friends and family members of people who have fallen prey to conspiracy theories. I am always asked these two questions:


How did you fall down the rabbit hole?

How did you get out? 


The appetite for stories about conspiracy theories is out there but there is still very little understanding about why people turn to them to understand the world.


Over the course of this project (book & podcast) I will give these questions the nuanced answers they need via two angles: 


The first will be anecdotal. I will utilise my own story and reference significant moments from my 15 years as a conspiracy theorist to deliver some of the answers. This will help the listener understand how a conspiracist comes to believe these wild narratives and how they justify these beliefs. My goal is to provide a relatable experience for the listener. This can help dispel the myths and stereotypes while giving the listener a unique insight into the life and mind of a conspiracist. We cannot tackle this infestation of bad ideas unless we can better understand its origins in the human psyche. 


The second will be factual. I will be using interviews with a range of experts to help give the listener a solid understanding of the role that conspiracism has played in our cultural societies contemporaneously and historically. 


For friends and family of a conspiracist, they will discover new ways of engaging with conspiracists without the worry of enabling them. The conspiracist will discover many things they didn't know about the history of what they believe and much about themselves with the help of sociologists, psychologists, historians and other experts. And all listeners will discover how to spot dangerous patterns of thinking and how to avoid falling into these traps themselves. 


Brent Lee is host of “Some Dare Call It Conspiracy”. With over 200,000 downloads, this podcast aims to deconstruct and demystify popular conspiracy theories. The subculture of conspiracism is especially close to him as he was himself a devoted conspiracist for 15 years. In 2003 Brent Lee fell head first into the rabbit hole via 9/11 conspiracy theories and was eventually consumed by what he calls a "cult-like ideology" until he crawled back out in 2018.