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One of the problems with many conspiracy theories is that, unlike scientific theories, they're impossible to definitively prove wrong. Any attempt to do so invites accusations that you're in on them. Conversely, labelling something as a "conspiracy theory" is a convenient way to close down political debate or a challenge to authority by painting the theorists as wackos. Tony Blair described his critics as obsessed with conspiracy during the Chilcot inquiry earlier this year, just as George Bush in 2001 urged the UN not to tolerate "outrageous conspiracy theories" about the 9/11 attacks. Neutral observers point out that regardless of their content, conspiracy theories are "unofficial" knowledge, and therefore threaten institutions of official knowledge, such as academia and journalism. The two sides resemble each other more than they would like to admit.
run by 28-year-old Rik Clay from Leeds. Clay was making a name for himself in these esoteric circles. As well as the Olympics, his blog discussed everything from the significance of the No 11 to crop circles to Princess Diana. But three months after the Cosmic Mind launched, it suddenly went down in August 2008. Clay had died