Type: "Like all forms of midlife crisis, the sudden lurch into conspiracism offers middle-aged men a sense of revitalization and adventure, writes Kay. "For a middle-aged man who's grown tired of life's patterns, conspiracism provides more than just fresh surroundings: It offers an entirely new reality."
Example: Richard Gage. Gage heads a California-based group Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The group focuses on the precise sequence of events leading to the collapse of the WTC, which Gage is convinced was brought down not by planes alone but by "controlled demolition." A fixture on the Truther speaking circuit, he's known for his 600-slide Powerpoint presentation, Blueprint for Truth, which purports to debunk the official account of 9/11. "I would rather die speaking the truth than live in a police state, which is what 9/11 laid the groundwork for," he tells Kay. Gage caught the 9/11 Truth bug in 2006 after attending a talk by a leading Truther, David Ray Griffin. His obsession has cost him friends, his career as an architect, his marriage, and his house.