There's some skepticism in the blogosphere, over the recent discussion of geocentrists and now, apparently, flat-earthers, that these web sites and trolls must be joking. Nobody could possibly believe such simple-minded tripe in our modern, rational world, could they?
All this talk reminded me of the story of Cyrus Teed, a man who believed that we were living on the inside of a hollow Earth, not the outside, and that the sun and stars all resided in the central cavity. Teed ended up with a cult worshipping under his new religion, Koreshanity, which at its peak had 250 followers.
When did all this happen? Teed died in 1908. About three dozen members of the cult remained, however, and there were still 35 members in the 1940s. Finally, in 1960, the remaining four members deeded the Koreshan lands to the state of Florida.
My favorite part of the story? Teed was confident that he would be resurrected after his death. His followers awaited his rising until the body had decomposed enough for the county health officer to order it interred.
The lesson here is that there's always somebody out there willing to believe just about any crazy thing, if you give them a good enough story.