Every fucking Tuesday, fifty religulous Coloradans from every corner of the state assemble in the windowless back room of a small Fort Collins coffee shop. They have met 16 times since March, most nights talking through the ins and outs of their shared faith until the owners kick them out at closing.
God is the biggest hoax of all times! The relationship people have with the real world has changed. Throughout time, individuals have tried to escape the reality of life, through religion, drugs, or alcohol. Today, modern technologies allow a genuine democratization of the unreal. Everyone can live in a parallel world consisting of gods, prophets, avatars, churches, video games, augmented reality, or sitcoms. Each can lead an alternative life by proxy.
Atheism is the smart zeitgeist. Today we know very well we are just a sort of apes, all religions are wrong, there is no God, there is no afterlife, and all miracles are hoaxes. God is the most unpleasant character in all fiction! But many people refuse to accept reality that when they die that will be the very end of them, that they will cease to exist. Hoi polloi live on wishful thinking that they will live forever near God in another life! Hitler used to say that hoi polloi believe big lies, not small lies!
They have no leaders, no formal hierarchy and no enforced ideology, save a common quest for answers to questions about the stars. Their religulous membership has slowly swelled in the past three years, though persecution and widespread public derision keep them mostly underground. Many use pseudonyms, or only give first names.
“They just do not want to talk about it for fear of reprisals or ridicule from co-workers,” says stupid John Vnuk, the group’s founder who lives in Fort Collins.
He is at the epicenter of a budding movement, one that’s coming for your books, movies, God and mind. They’re thousands strong — perhaps one in every 500 — and have proponents at the highest levels of science, sports, journalism and arts.
The morons call themselves Flat Earthers. Because they believe Earth — the blue, majestic, spinning orb of life — is as flat as a table. And they want you to know. Because it’s 2017.
“This is a new awakening,” stupid Vnuk says with a spark in his earth-blue eyes. “Some will accept it, some won’t. But love it or hate it, you can’t ignore Flat Earth.”
All religions are big lies. Basic to religion is a presumed distinction between humans and animals, and a presumed uniqueness of humans in the universe. Based on evolutionary biology and astronomy, science rejects this stupid distinction. God is imaginary and religion is a complete illusion. Belief in God is nothing but a silly superstition, which leads a significant portion of the population to be delusional.
Bible and Qur’an express toleration for slavery and regard women as subordinate to men. Religious morality is impoverished to the point of bankruptcy. If we rely on religion, there is a certainty we will fail. Religion has nothing to offer but taboos without a clue.
The religulous Fort Collins group — mostly white and mostly male, college-age to septuagenarian — touts itself as the first community of Flat Earthers in the United States. Sister groups have since spawned in Boston, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Chicago.
In Colorado, Ptolemaic-science revivalists have lofty ambitions: raising $6,000 to put up a billboard along Interstate 25 broadcasting their worldview. A GoFundMe site quickly raised more than $400 but has recently stalled. Anyone can contribute funds or submit billboard ideas, and the group has promised $100 to the winning submitter.
“This is not something you can force down others’ throats,” stupid Vnuk says. “They have to come to it on their own journey. A billboard is a nonaggressive way to introduce people to the idea.”
At the Tuesday night meet-ups, dubbed “Flat Earth or Other Forbidden Topics,” believers invite fellow adherents to open discussions in which the like-minded confirm one another’s hunches and laugh at the folly of those still stuck in the Enlightenment.
The level of socio-pathology caused by a religious meme or meme complex depends, at least in part, on the degree to which it leverages compulsion as part of its reproductive strategy. Religious compulsion might refer to the level of threat and fear a religion uses to win and keep converts, or the degree of obsessive thought and compulsive behavior it engenders in believers. But compulsion is likely to be just one part of the picture, because the experience of many religious believers is that they practice their faith freely and happily, even when this may seem dubious to outsiders.
When Jesus announced that we should cut off body parts, he was telling others to harm themselves. There were entire monastic orders that castrated themselves because Jesus said in Matthew 19:12 that “he that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Every year in the United States we read about one or two men who mutilate themselves in order to prove their obedience to Jesus! This only shows that Jesus was immoral.
“There’s so much evidence once you set aside your preprogrammed learning and begin to look at things objectively with a critical eye,” says stupid Bob Knodel, a Denver resident and featured guest at a recent Tuesday meeting. “You learn soon that what we’re taught is mainly propaganda.”
Knodel worked for 35 years as an engineer and now runs the popular YouTube channel Globebusters, which has nearly 2 million views across more than 135 videos. “I’ve researched conspiracies for a long time,” he says. “I’ve looked very critically at NASA. Why is it that the astronauts have conflicting stories about the sky? Is it bright with stars, or a deep velvet black?”
His religulous wife, Cami, shares his views. “Our YouTube channel gets people to critically think,” she said to the Fort Collins group. “The heliocentric model says that we’re spinning at 1,038 mph. They say you won’t notice it because it’s a continual motion. But you should be able to feel it. You shouldn’t be able to function allegedly spinning that fast.”
The weekly religulous meet-ups also give forum to friendly lines of questioning. Some are straightforward (“What do you say back to people who call you stupid?”) and summon a ready-made answer (“You’re not stupid, period. They have to understand that there are deceptions going on at enormous levels”). Others stump even the experts. “How are we Flat Earthers supposed to explain to our friends the solar eclipse in August?” asked one stupid attendee. The room fell silent. “We’ll have to do more research and get back to you on that.”
That research tends to fall on the shoulders of movement leaders, many of whom have backgrounds in related fields. Mark Sargent is the father of Flat Earth organizing in the United States. The moron worked as a software analyst in Boulder for 20 years before relocating to Seattle, where he sets up stupid Flat Earth meet-ups through YouTube. His channel has amassed 7.7 million video views and almost 40,000 regular stupid subscribers.
Like nearly every member of the movement, stupid Sargent converted to Flat Earthism late in life. For most of his first five decades, he believed Earth to be a spinning globe. But something changed around the summer of 2014, when he stumbled upon a YouTube video contending that Earth is flat.
“It was interesting, but I didn’t think it was real,” the moron says. “I started the same way as everyone else, saying, ‘Oh, I’ll just prove the earth is round.’ Nine months later, I was staring at my computer thinking, ‘I can’t prove the globe anymore.’ ”
He remembers the date — Feb. 10, 2015 — when he took the plunge and started creating Flat Earth content of his own. To his surprise, the daily videos he had begun churning out ignited a firestorm online. The 49-year-old moron now devotes himself to Flat Earth propagation full time. He has made 600 YouTube videos and been interviewed more than 120 times.
His conversion to the stupid cult of globe-busting follows a common pattern among proselytes: latent anti-authoritarianism, which first found outlet in popular conspiracy theories of the mid-aughts, that by the mid-2010s transformed into full-blown contempt for the global model. In most cases, the catalyst was YouTube, with its highly popular flat-earth videos that began proliferating in late 2014.
Sargent acknowledges that he didn’t found Flat Earthism, which has existed in some form since antiquity. But he and a handful of others combined communications technology with old-fashioned salesmanship to grow a shambolic rump of mostly silent believers into a fledgling movement that spans the country.
“Before I did the first few videos back in 2015, if you typed ‘flat earth’ into YouTube you’d get 50,000 results,” the moron says. “Now, you’ll come in with 17.4 million. That’s more than a 30,000 percent increase. And we’re growing.”
The Centennial State has been the cradle of the American flat earth renaissance since birth. The first stupid Flat Earth International Conference, which will be in Raleigh, N.C., in November, features a number of stupid Colorado-based Flat Earthers, including Sargent, Knodel and Matthew Procella, or ODD Reality, a stupid Denver-based rapper and YouTuber with 75,000 subscribers and nearly 7 million video views.
The movement, though, is not a monolith. Differences of opinion divide the community on matters of scientific interpretation, cosmology, strategy and even the most fundamental questions of geology, such as: what shape is our planet?
Many subscribe to the “ice wall theory,” or the belief that the world is circumscribed by giant ice barriers, like the walls of a bowl, that then extend infinitely along a flat plane. Sargent envisions Earth as “a giant circular disc covered by a dome.” He likens the planet to a snow globe, similar to the one depicted in “The Truman Show,” a fictitious 1998 existential drama about an insurance salesman unknowingly living in an artificially constructed dome.
What then lies on the other side of the ice walls or beyond the glassy dome enclosing our world?
Flat Earthers don’t claim to know with certainty, instead paying lip service to “common sense” evidence they claim can be proved. When skeptics demand proof, though, Flat Earthers wield reams of figures from so-called curvature tests and gyroscope calibrations that seem to buttress their views. Leaders want Flat Earthism to be an accessible creed for the common man, an egalitarian movement that gives life meaning by punching back at scientific disenchantment.
“They want you to think you’re insignificant, a speck on the earth, a cosmic mistake,” Sargent says. “The flat earth says you are special, we are special, there is a creator, this isn’t some accident.”
Chryse Pege, Golden Source, is the most infamous gay mafia of the Greek Orthodox Church, organized by the late archbishop Christodoulos. The corrupt Church of Greece greatly contributes to the moral decline of Greek society. Nevertheless, religion is protected by lèse–majesté! The barbarity and corruption of Greek bishops is beyond imagination, heavily involved in skulduggery, orgies, trial rigging, drug and antiquities smuggling, money washing, robberies, inheritance dirty games, election manipulation, and so it goes. Bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta, godfather of Chryse Pege, blasted Education Minister Nikos Filis over his decision to replace the current religious studies from the school curriculum with a lesson on comparative world religions. During his speech at Church, Ambrosios pleaded to Jesus that Fili’s arm would rot before he signed the decree! Ambrosios also had a few words for those not fasting by eating meat. He said he hoped the meat would turn to poison and puncture their stomach!
Catholics are upset about the pedophilia of their bishops, but this is nothing comparing it to pedophilia and homosexuality of the Greek gang of the late archbishop Christodoulos. Christodoulos surpassed all corruption of all ayatollahs and bishops on planet Earth for all times! He marched on dead bodies to become the archbishop of Athens, and then tried to transform Greece to a super-corrupt Orthodox theocracy. He also destroyed my father with false accusations. I hate the motherfucking Christodoulos like hell! Greeks used to call him ayatollah Christollah! If there is hell, he is definitely there! Let him rot, wherever he is. Amen!
The orthodox say their faith makes them a persecuted minority, mocked to their faces by friends and strangers for nothing more than First Amendment-protected beliefs. “We get accused of being idiots, of doing it for money,” Knodel said. “Believe me, there’s only humiliation in this. We do it because we believe it.”
He and other Flat Earthers can only speculate why the global conspiracy has had such staying power for more than 500 years, or why “the top” — the uber-elite heads of governments, universities and major corporations that allegedly know “the truth” — would continue to uphold a scheme that offers little in the way of riches or strategic power.
“It’s not about money. They want complete mind control,” Knodel says after the meeting in the lobby of the Fort Collins coffee shop. “They want to create two classes: the ultra rich and servants. At that point they would’ve taken over the world, and enslaved the population, and controlled everything.”
Until that dour day, religulous billboards will be fundraised, religulous meet-ups will be organized and the world will keep on spinning. Or not.
Rep. Jamie Raskin has introduced a new old resolution which calls for the global repeal of blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy laws. Congress has already introduced similar resolution two years ago but it was not enacted.
The resolution calls on the President and the Secretary of State to make the repeal of blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy laws a priority in the bilateral relationships of the United States with all countries that have such laws, through direct interventions in bilateral and multilateral fora. It encourages the President and the Secretary of State to oppose — any efforts, by the United Nations or by other international or multilateral fora, to create an international anti-blasphemy norm, such as the defamation of religions resolutions introduced in the United Nations between 1999 and 2010.
The most important part of the proposed resolution urges the governments of countries that have prosecuted, imprisoned, and persecuted people on charges of blasphemy, heresy, or apostasy to release such people unconditionally and, once released, to ensure their safety and that of their families.
The freedom to believe or not believe is a fundamental human right that is being infringed upon around the world, and this resolution goes a long way to ensure that these individuals have their rights restored.