Flat Earth believer addresses students

A former radio host wants millennial college students to reconsider whether or not the Earth is round.

The popularity of YouTube conspiracy channels and podcasts among millennials can be seen by YouTuber Shane Dawson’s Conspiracy Theory eyeshadow pallet selling out in just a few hours last year. Feeling that this demographic would be open to his ideas, Lee Austin, author of the 2018 “Morning Star’s Tale,” emailed several Vanguard staff members a PDF of his novella narrated by Lucifer.

“Lucifer decides that he’s going to let man know how everything works,” Austin said about the book. “He does it because he knows most people aren’t going to believe, and that seems to bring him pleasure.”

While Austin said flat Earth is the central theme of the book, it also discusses alchemy, masonry, numerology and other topics.

“It’s a novella, but I do believe most of what’s written in the book,” he said.

Austin, who worked in broadcast radio for about 30 years, began investigating conspiracy theories in 2007 for a Texas radio station. In 2013, he said he moved to Austin and began a national show in 2014 talking about same subject matter.

“In 2015, someone introduced me to flat Earth theory, and I got hooked,” he said. “It took me about half a year to become a believer, but I spent so much time talking about it on the radio that they fired me. Two months later, that was the inspiration to write the book.” Austin said he began researching flat Earth theory to disprove it, but soon found that “if you try to disprove it without using NASA’s CGI and fisheye lens, you’re going to find out that the evidence leans toward a flat Earth.”

Austin said the round Earth theory, or heliocentric view of the Earth, means everyone is a “meaningless speck” in the universe. Flat Earth theory, or the geocentric view, means the Earth was intelligently designed, which gives meaning to life, in Austin’s view.

When his book first launched, Austin targeted colleges and academics, which he said was a “huge mistake.” He said this demographic was not open to his ideas.

During the last six months, he began to instead market the book to college students, who “don’t have tenure, or fear being thrown out of academia and their wives leaving them.”

Austin said the idea to market “Morning Star’s Tale” to millennials came after he read a Forbes article stating that a third of millennials question the shape of the Earth. He said this demographic is more “open to the idea that perhaps they were being lied to” than baby boomers or academics. Since the switch in marketing, Austin said the book has been “more successful.”

“When I was growing up, and the man landed on the moon, which he didn’t, there were only three channels,” he said. “We believed it because that’s all we had. … Trying to reach people in my age group is a complete waste of time.”

Austin’s book uses the moon to explain flat Earth theory.

“We’re being lied to about the moon,” he said. “When the moon is half-lit, ask any astrophysicist or anyone with NASA to explain how in the world the sun can light half of the moon. They can’t give you an answer, and it’s because the moon is projecting its own light.”

Austin said he believes college students will also be interested in his chapter on freemasonry and the Illuminati.

“It is a cult, and they worship Lucifer,” he said. “When you become a 33rd degree freemason, you’re told that Lucifer is God, and he’s the great light-bearer. … Most, if not all astronauts, are freemasons. The reason they’re doing this is, bottom line, that they’re hiding intelligent design.”

He said the Antarctic Treaty, which bans military activity on the content, was designed to keep people off the continent because “there is no Antarctica,” he said. Austin said he believes NASA and this treaty were designed to hide “intelligent design.”

“We can’t go up, and we can’t go to the edge of the Earth,” he said. “It’s illegal. They’re hiding the creator, the intelligent design.”

Austin said he is considering a follow-up fictional novel about who finds the edge of the Earth, which he hopes could turn into a movie or one-man play. He said is not interested in pursuing research on other conspiracies at this time.

“[Flat Earth] is the only conspiracy that interests me,” he said. “JFK, 9/11 – they all pale because if this is true, this is the biggest lie in the history of mankind.”

Austin said he hopes more college students will be “willing to go down the rabbit hole” and research flat Earth theory for themselves.

“If you’re honest and open, and you’re willing to go down wherever the rabbit hole takes you, you’ll find it to be one of the most interesting parts of your life,” he said. “It’s given me more faith. It’s made me more positive, and it’s given me more hope. … I don’t feel like I am a ball going nowhere. I have purpose.”

A poll posted on The Valley Vanguard’s Facebook page allowed students to sound off on whether or not they believe in flat Earth theory. The poll found that 221 students (96 percent of the votes) said they believe in a round earth, while 13 students (6 percent of the votes) said they believe in a flat Earth.

Kaitlyn Farley

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