Ball Earth Skeptic
It is used to describe an individual who is willing to consider the possibility that the prevailing heliocentric belief system is deceptive, flawed, or otherwise worthy of reexamination.
Genesis of the term
In late 2014 a man named Eric Dubay, claiming to be an American-born man in his early thirties and based in Thailand, released a book titled The Flat Earth Conspiracy.[note 2] Dubay popularised the term Spinning Ball Earth as a derisive description of heliocentric belief.
Then in early 2015 a man named Mark Sargent, claiming to be based on the US west coast, released a series of short YouTube videos titled Flat Earth Clues. These soon went semi-viral and helped to bring Flat Earth to the fore of "alternative" (conspiracy) attention on the internet at the time.[note 3]
Mark Sargent then went on to record dozens (perhaps now hundreds) of interviews with myriad alternative/conspiracy/truth outlets, including Coast to Coast Radio with George Noory.
JLB had been introduced to Flat Earth via Fakeologist and was a participant in Fakeologist's Flat Earth Roundtable, conducted March 22, 2015. You can listen to that audiochat [<URL> here].
JLB then went on to co-create and host the Ball Earth Skeptic Roundtable which aired live on YouTube for a 12-week season from June through August of 2015. This helped to propagate the term Ball Earth Skeptic.[note 5]
Ab Irato has also helped to propagate the term by naming the Flat Earth section of the Fakeologist website Ball Earth Skeptic. You can see this section of his site here.
Allegations that Ball Earth Skeptic is part of a covert operation by intelligence agencies
It has been alleged that JLB created the term Ball Earth Skeptic (and the eponymous Roundtable) as part of a ploy to "destroy teh troof movements". JLB publicly responded to these allegations, and explained the genesis of the term Ball Earth Skeptic, live on the air during a debate with Jeffrey C of FreeRadioRevolution in January, 2016. You can listen to that debate [<URL> here].
- As of January 2018, JLB's YouTube channel boasts approximately 5,000 subscribers. You can see his debunking of Flat Earth here and his main argument against modern heliocentric belief [<URL> here].
- As of January 2018, Dubay's YouTube channel boasts approximately 10,000 subscribers. Before it was closed/terminated, Dubay's previous YouTube channel had gained closer to 100,000 subscribers.
- As of January 2018, Sargent's YouTube channel boasts approximately 46,000 subscribers. You can see Part 1 of his Flat Earth Clues series [<URL> here]. Part 1 is listed with over 200,000 views on Sargent's upload alone; it has been mirrored by many other channels, meaning that the total number of views (at least according to YouTube statistics) is virtually incalculable.
- When Sargent first uploaded his Flat Earth Clues series, he was unknown in the alternative/conspiracy/truth realm (despite claiming to be a "conspiracy veteran"). Sargent listed his home phone number at the end of each video and encouraged people with questions to call him. Apparently, Ab of Fakeologist was the first person to do so and ask to record the call for an interview.
- After the 12-week season, the Ball Earth Skeptic Roundtable went on indefinite hiatus and has not returned since. In May, 2017 (i.e. about 18 months after BESR went on indefinite hiatus) two of the shows three co-creators (JLB and Matrix Decode) spent some time reflecting on not only BESR but their time investigating alternative cosmology more broadly. You can listen to that conversation [<URL> here].