The Flat Earth Society is distancing itself from YouTube celebrity and recent Flat Earth promoter Logan Paul.
Paul attended the Flat Earth Conference in Denver last week, The Daily Beast first reported. In a speech before hundreds of conference-goers, Paul announced he was “coming out of the Flat Earth closet,” although his remarks appeared to be part of a prank for a video. In an interview with The Daily Beast before the speech, the 23-year-old Paul couldn’t keep a straight face while claiming the Earth was flat. Now the stunt is reopening old rifts in the Flat Earth community.
“As of the time of publishing this statement, the Flat Earth Society has not been in contact with Logan Paul or anyone acting as his representative, and we have no intention of offering him membership or otherwise affiliating with him or his recent statements,” the society announced this past weekend. The group is one of the largest and oldest in the Flat Earth community, which has boomed in popularity in the YouTube age.
“Any claims that Logan Paul is a member of the Flat Earth Society or that he may have been considered for membership are simply untrue.”
The Flat Earth Society, by its own admission in the statement, has nothing to do with the Flat Earth Conference though. In fact, they have rivaling views about the planet.
Conference organizers believe Earth is a flat disc covered by a dome, while the society describes Earth as a flat disc without a dome. (Both are wrong, of course.) Whereas conference-goers repeatedly claimed that “space is fake,” the society previously told The Daily Beast that space travel might be possible, but “cost-prohibitive.” Several conference leaders attacked the society in speeches last week, with some attendees going as far as accusing the society of being a psyop campaign aimed at discrediting the Flat Earth movement.
Paul is famous for controversial stunt videos (including a December video in which he filmed a dead man in Japan’s “suicide forest”) and he attended the conference with a camera crew. Conference organizer Robbie Davidson said he’d given Paul a 30-minute interview on camera, adding he had “a very good feeling [Paul is] genuine” in his Flat Earth beliefs. (This author disagrees.)
If Paul releases a video on the conference, it will appear in the feeds of his 18-million subscribers, many of whom are children. YouTube is a major vehicle for Flat Earth misinformation, with a community of channels dedicated to pushing Flat Earth belief and selling Flat Earth merchandise.
The Flat Earth Society told The Daily Beast that, while they wouldn’t go as far as accusing Paul of lying, they weren’t convinced of his Flat Earth belief.
“It would be needlessly heavy-handed of us to accuse him of lying. However, to our knowledge Logan has not shown any interest in the Flat Earth Movement prior to his surprise announcement, and he has shown himself not to be very knowledgeable on the subject during the conference. Of course, this could be for many reasons, which would be pointless to speculate.“We wouldn't want to tell anyone whether or not true Flat Earthers put sugar on their porridge, but personally we'd rather reserve any endorsements until Logan shows himself to be a contributing member of the FE community.”