Vice reporter went to a conference on flat earth

Published on May 14, 2018

Vice reporter went to a conference on flat earth


    At the entrance to the conference participants are offered as a gift toothpaste without fluoride. Such pastes have become popular after the emergence of conspiracy theories that world governments specifically fluorinate water to calm the population.

    Flat Earth Theory is one of the fashionable conspiracy theories, whose popularity has sharply increased recently. For example, in terms of the frequency of mentioning in the Russian media and social networks (adjusted for the importance of a newsmaker), she ranks 9th among the most popular conspiracy theories in Russia , yielding to the blue lobby, but overtaking the Masonic conspiracy.

    In the classification of conspiracy theories, the flat Earth belongs to the “external” theories that are not directly related to Russia, and supporters of this idea can be found in all corners of the world. In specialized forums, they communicate with each other, thereby strengthening mutual confidence in their own rightness and criticizing the “unconvincing hypotheses of the sharrowers”.

    On April 27-29, 2018, in the British Birmingham, the first congress of flat Earth supporters in the UK was held - the Flat Earth Convention , one of the conferences on flat Earth, which are also scheduled this year in Denver (USA) and Alberta (Canada).

    Over the course of three days, several hundred congress participants in Birmingham heard reports from speakers who argued for this conspiracy theory in various ways, and also reasonedly criticized the arguments of the sharodeans.

    Here are the main "pillars" of the flat earth theory:

    • When a ship visible to the naked eye is hidden beyond the horizon, it can still be seen through a telescope or a telescope (this is true).
    • The land is flat because the bridges are straight.
    • Satellites do not leave the atmosphere and do not rotate around the Earth.
    • All photos of the Earth and other planets - fake and computer graphics.
    • The land is flat because aircraft pilots do not need to constantly change course and lower the nose of the aircraft.
    • Nothing leaves flat Earth. Launched missiles actually after takeoff move parallel to the Earth, and then fall into the sea.
    • … etc.

    The essence of the concept of a flat Earth is that there is no reason not to believe your eyes. Anyone who looks around can easily see that the Earth is flat. Virtually no one has seen the planet from deep space, so the theory of its sphericity is confirmed only by indirect arguments - photographs, video clips, etc.

    Adepts of a flat Earth have critical thinking and cannot blindly trust the information that they are fed by called "experts" from the official science of the Shrozemelnikov. Therefore, every fact must be verified.


    "No turtles, just supports." A slide from one of the presentations at the conference shows the “true” shape of the Earth based on the structure of the Egyptian pyramids

    Judging by the Birmingham conference, there are far fewer real supporters of this conspiracy theory than is commonly believed: about 70 people, several video cameras and a table for selling souvenirs easily fit in a small conference room. The real activists of this movement are thousands of times less than those who can passively support their point of view. For example, 32% of Russians believe that the sun revolves around the earth , while 55% believe that radioactivity is a matter of human hands. But only a tiny fraction of these people will become sincere adherents of a flat Earth or other conspiracy theories if they go deeper into the subject. Here there is a banal lack of knowledge, and not at all conspiracy thinking.

    Like homeopathic pills like anaferon, the theory of a flat Earth is unlikely to cause serious harm to people around. However, the long-term consequences of belief in such theories can undermine the authority of science, some scientists believe , and theoretically can cause real damage to specific people. For example, people who believe in homeopathy refrain from effective treatment, as a result of which they endanger their health. If the majority of earthlings believe in the theory of a flat Earth, then one can hardly count on the abundant funding of programs for the study of deep space.

    Studies have shownthat conspiracy thinking is largely associated with paranoid ideas and schizotypal personality disorder (strange or eccentric behavior, tendency to social isolation, coldness or inadequacy of emotional reactions). Unfortunately, mental disorders affect people regardless of their level of education.

    Both American and Russian studies have confirmed that conspirator theories are inclined to believe in many different theories, often contradictory ( for example , Bulk is a CIA agent and Bulk is a Kremlin agent) at the same time. This is explained by the fact that schizoid conspiracy thinking begins to predominate in a person - the professional quality of intelligence officers and the military, but completely unnecessary to the ordinary person and difficult to be compatible with mental health.