The two-hour video is anti-Christian, anti-American and anti-capitalist, and Jared Lee Loughner became obsessed with it. Zeitgeist, a conspiracy-theory documentary released in 2007, has spawned its own cult following. According to Loughner’s friends, the accused Tucson gunman was one of the cult’s most zealous converts. And many of Loughner’s otherwise inexplicable obsessions — from his fascination with currency to his rantings against illiteracy to his paranoid fears of “mind control” — parallel ideas promoted in Zeitgeist.

The first disclosure of the movie’s influence on the mass murder suspect’s beliefs came in an interview Wednesday with ABC News. “I really think that this Zeitgeist documentary had a profound impact upon Jared Loughner’s mindset and how he views the world that he lives in,” Zach Osler, 22, told ABC’s Ashleigh Banfield. Osler’s father confirmed that influence in an interview published Sunday by the Arizona Republic. “He wanted to watch [Zeitgeist] all the time,” George Osler told the Phoenix newspaper. “It was cool at first. But then it got weird. It was all he wanted to do.”

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