For anyone fascinated by the spectacle of colorful conspiratorial minds at work, the last decade has provided for some gripping snorkeling. The growth of the 9/11 Truth movement, the reemergence of the John Birth Society, the persistence of Birtherism and its variants — there’s been no shortage of conspiracy activity at which to gawk and attempt understanding. It was Arthur Goldwag’s fate that this bubbling in the fever swamps turned furious just he was submitting a manuscript to his publisher entitled Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies.

The sudden dynamism in a subject he had just written about historically left Goldwag with a choice. He could curse his luck and take a vacation, or he could turn his just-completed manuscript into the first half of a two-book project. The fruit of his decision, The New Hate, is the subject of today’s salon.