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Expert Panel Analyzes the Origins of 'Sandy Hook Trutherism

NEWTOWN, CT - JANUARY 14: Police tape lies bunched near the road to Sandy Hook Elementary School on January 14, 2013 in Newtown, Connecticut. The town marked a month anniversay since the massacre of 26 children and adults at the school, the second-worst such shooting in U.S. history. Credit: Getty Images

Driven by a recent conspiracy theory that posits the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting was fabricated, Glenn Beck dedicated his Wednesday evening broadcast to debunking those myths. He also hosted TheBlaze's Billy Hallowell, author of an extensive article detailing the bizarre string of questions and theories currently circulating the Internet, to provide additional context and background.

The content of these conspiracy theories has been produced in a format resembling a documentary and has since gone viral, generating at least 11 million views to date. Hallowell characterized the content as follows:

The main crux of the arguments presented in documentary-style videos is that the Sandy Hook massacre is either a government-planned hoax intended to lead the nation to overwhelmingly embrace increased gun control measures. Or, at the least, those who have put the videos out believe that essential information is being withheld from the American public surrounding multiple shooters and other game-changing elements. The motivations of those who have created these theories are difficult to pin down, as most are spouting their views anonymously.

A video documenting purported inconsistencies surrounding the tragedy that killed 20 children and six adults inside the school has gone viral, gaining more than 11 million views in just two weeks. And a follow-up “documentary” has also been released, adding further “evidence” to the claim that the event either didn’t unfold at all or that it happened contrary to the media narrative that has been advanced.

Hallowell noted that in addition to questioning the official reports of number and types of weapons used in the attack, the theorists also targeted parents' reactions, claiming that memorial pages for the victims were published prior to when the massacre took place. This is merely the tip of the iceberg in what is being dubbed "Sandy Hook Trutherism."

In the segments below, Beck, Hallowell and Salon's Alex-Seitz-Wald debunk the salacious accusations and explain today's bizarre fascination with the surreal:

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