I know, I know, the I.R.S. ++suxxors, but "Luciferian"?The reward is existential solace. This, I came to understand, was the real draw, the thing that could make, say, an unemployed clerical worker drive twelve hours, alone, from Michigan to Raleigh. To believe in a flat Earth is to belong not only to a human community but to sit, once again, at the center of the cosmos. The standard facts of astronomy are emotionally untenable—a planet spinning at a thousand miles per hour, a mote in a galaxy of unimaginable scale, itself a mote in the vast and expanding universe. “That, to me, is a huge problem,” Campanella said. “You are a created individual. This is a created place. It’s not an accident; it’s not an explosion in space; it’s not random molecules joining together.”
You, we, are special. “It’s like God is patting me on the shoulder, saying, ‘You deserve this!’ ” a man from New Orleans told me. He was a trucker, the son of a former newscaster, and an occasional musician. As we were talking, an older man in a wheelchair approached and, in a drawl, introduced himself and asked if we were Christians. He brought up the notion of infinite space and the lack of a creator. “How can people live with that?” he asked.
“Those people are fucking miserable,” the trucker said. “They’re so unhappy.”
The footing on this flat Earth is unstable. At the conference, several speakers made reference to “shills” within the community, people purporting to espouse the theory but who in fact belong to some deep-state counterintelligence program aimed at making the movement seem laughable. In 2016, Dubay, of the “200 Proofs” video, called out Sargent, Campanella, and other figures as “suspected controlled opposition shills,” and last year in a radio interview he called the November conference a “shill-fest.” Even the flat-Earth bureaucracy is suspect. At the end of the conference’s second day, a panelist mentioned a plan to set up a nonprofit to carry on the work. This brought a rebuke from a woman in the audience. “You had me up until I heard the gentleman say, ‘The reason we had to scramble to get the 501(c)(3),’” she said. “In my research, I found out that’s a Luciferian contract.”
And of course you know who is in the punchbowl:
"If we could just get the truth to Trump, he'd blow the whole Luciferian thing wide open!" How many times have you heard that one from an outraged conspiracy theorist?The flat Earth was perhaps a scam, an emotional salve with no basis in physical reality. Now it has become both real and surreal, like a performance-art piece in which nobody can tell the actors, stagehands, and audience apart. “Do you think Trump knows? Do you think he knows that space is fake?” Campanella asked at one point.
And may we add that space is most definitely not "fake". Indeed ...