Everything That Was Beautiful Became Ugly | Escaping Flat Earth with Patricia Steere

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Matthew 12:34

 

17

THE BEGINNING IS THE END

 

I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE. I’ve always wanted to be interviewed by Patricia Steere. Ever since coming over to the flat earth community in its toddler months, I’ve often fancied the inevitable invite that would never come. For the record, there is a high probability that somebody out there, notably a flat earthist, has only just now spit out their coffee and is pausing, without having yet read this far, to wipe off their screen with a napkin. I mean, generation of vaginas will go dry for penning this very article. That is what I was told, at least, when I had announced my intention to write it. Oh, haven’t you heard the news? It’s all over YouTube.

Patricia Steere has a penis.

Everything that Was Beautiful Became Ugly (e-book).jpg

Just now there is some other sad sap out in there in the world that, having haphazardly stumbled upon this article through a careless phrasing in the search engine, has spit out their coffee or worse, choked on an expensive blueberry scone. But back to my public confession—I’ve often imagined the microphone which I might prop myself up behind as Patricia’s latest conversation piece on her YouTube series, Flat Earth and Other Hot Potatoes, interviewed purely on the basis that I was a contributing anything for the Movement.

Hemingway once described the process of writing as sitting down at a typewriter to bleed. I’ve always maintained that writing is more akin to walking out on stage, stripping down ones garments, and then standing there quite alone, sweating under the blinding bulb of the spotlight while my anonymous audience, hidden in the blanketed darkness, sits there to take account of my intricacies—the added padding of flesh caked onto each thigh or the uneven distribution of hair streaming from my lower neck to my chest. It is strange indeed then that I so regularly labor over a seemingly endless gauntlet of potential mockery while simultaneously doggy-paddling with a leg cramp through floodwaters of timidity, lacking enough self-confidence to pick up the phone and introduce myself to a former DJ.

Steere, I often thought, would never have me on.

And then one day I was sitting under the shade of a tree somewhere alongside the Dordogne River in France, welcoming the sweltering heat of summer in, when news had reached my social media feed that Patricia Steere had terminated her YouTube account. Hundreds of Flat Earth and Other Hot Potatoes episodes were simultaneously eliminated with it. Just like that—gone. The woman who’d once given a voice to so many flat earth researchers was lending her microphone no more. To be more precise, Steere had pulled the plug on everything.

Patricia, it seemed, had left flat earth for good.

I was preparing to cook my family dinner, trying to make sense of another long-winded recipe in French, when a message lit up my screen. Rick Hummer, the gentleman who performed the Chicago experiment with Rob Skiba, had said Patricia Steere was willing to talk. More specifically, she wanted to talk with me.

But I didn’t have her number, I said.

She told me to give it to you.

Wait, Patricia Steere said me specifically?

CALL HER NOW, BRO.

Dinner was critically panned by a family of food critiques, who had made a point of highlighting my French to English measurement miscalculations. How could this go any worse? So I positioned myself comfortably behind my computer screen, soon as unhappy faces had finished scouring at their dinner plates, and set up the microphone, just as I’d so often practiced in my own imagination. And then, with a heavy sigh, I told myself, “It’s now or never, bro.”

16

THE NATURAL

ACTUALLY, THE WOMAN WHO ANSWERED hadn’t a clue as to who I was, despite the fact that she’d agreed to be interviewed regarding the circumstances leading up to her departure. And to make matters even more awkward, I’d interrupted her during a shower. Our conversation came solely based on Hummer’s recommendation, and in fact I thought she may have been disappointed to hear that I’d actually gone through with it. We hung up so that she could better prepare herself, but when she answered again half an hour later, and perhaps it’s simply my own insecurities talking, I still think she was hoping for somebody else. My second introduction was sloppier than the first. The woman on the other end of the phone was deeply hurt, and I fumbled around a bit, not at all as I’d practiced, while Patricia likely decided if she wanted to hang up.

I finally managed to course correct my terribly awkward introduction, though dinner was not salvageable, and said, “You probably don’t remember who I am, but we actually met once, almost two years ago.”

“Remind me again,” she said.

Our initial introduction would happen explicitly, and might I add, quite appropriately, considering the subject matter at hand, through an online picture—one which I sloppily captured on my cell phone. The image will testify to the fact that the photographer was sitting in the second row of the first annual Flat Earth Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, directly behind Patricia Steere and Mark Sargent while Jeran Campanella stood onstage speaking. A story which it simply cannot vouch for is the electricity of excitement filling the room. I wanted to capture that moment any way I could. And so I snapped a photo of the back of Mark Sargent and Patricia’s Steere’s head, and then immediately uploaded it onto Facebook.

Patricia Steere just so happened to be scrolling through her Facebook news feed, by which she and I were friends. Apparently, another Facebook friend, if any of us can ever really call each other that, had rudely suggested that I reach forward and pull her wig. It would take Patricia to let me in on it.

Patricia laughed with delight over the phone as I described our first encounter, perhaps as a sort of remedy to the pain she was currently attempting to heal from.

“I remember that,” she smiled.

She even recalled precisely what she said, a quip which can best be described as a simultaneous and trademark blend of funny and scathing, the very moment she turned around, quite abruptly, and I sunk into my chair.

“Go ahead and pull it. It’s all natural.”

Though it is true that I had Patricia laughing now, her fullest confidences in how I might take her own confessions and spin them on paper had certainly not yet been earned. The woman on the other end of the phone was deeply hurt; there was no question in my mind about that—and over the next two, nearly three hours, I was about to learn why.

“I told myself I wouldn’t do this,” Patricia seemed to bemoan our conversation with a sigh.

And then she began to tell me about it.

15

PATRICIA LYNNE STEERE

THE WINNER OF THE SPACE RACE would reach the moon first, but its outcome was still undetermined when Patricia Lynne Steere was born on earth. The date was February 5, 1963—the place, Spokane Washington. She was the last of the baby boomers. By 1963, Sputnik 1 was almost a decade-old memory. Even American John Glenn’s historic orbit onboard Friendship 7, which transpired one year earlier, was likely wearing out the newsreel as the Soviet Union turned its attention to Valentina Tereshkova, launching the first woman into space on board Vostok 6. NASA would follow suit with the first geosynchronous satellite. On November 22 of that very year, while Patricia was not yet ten months old, President Kennedy rode through Dallas, Texas, right past the Book Depository, in a custom designed Lincoln Continental convertible, the results of which only seemed to secure America’s foothold in a war with southeastern Asia, in cities and villages which very few Americans could nor cared to pronounce. By the time the Vietnam conflict came to an end, she was twelve years old. And yet it would take another several decades before Patricia Steere could gaze back upon the international broadcasts of that decade, among others still to come, and question everything.

The Beatles would of course invade America precisely twelve months after her birth. In hindsight it would perhaps appear perfectly timed that Howard Steere, Patricia’s grandfather, retired as a radio station owner the very years of their arrival—1964, for the record. Her father was an only child, a radio DJ in Spokane, but David and Judith Steere, along with their daughter, the eldest of three children, would find themselves back in Kalamazoo in order that he might take over the station. In time he would own several more.

Her mother Judith was Jewish and of New York pedigree. Her father was a Presbyterian from Ohio. It was the fifties, and since neither parent were strongly swayed by the convictions which their faiths hoped to hold, her mother converted to Christianity when they wed. And her family apparently didn’t mind. Patricia and her siblings were baptized in that same line of thinking. Together they attended Sunday school, celebrated Easter and Christmas, none of which seemed to have a profound effect on anyone, including her mother’s disclosure regarding their Jewish roots at the age of nine or ten, when she told them what it meant to be Jewish and then took them to a temple. Looking back on it all, her upbringing was not one which was deeply religious. That is not to say however it was void of religion altogether. If the Steere family held to any one religion, it was likely radio. And because of that, money was never far away.

 “Both of my parents were intellectually minded,” Patricia recalled.

That did have a defining effect on her. She once asked why the sky was blue.

Judith Steere simply responded: “Look it up.”

And Patricia Steere knew what she meant by it. Their well-to-do house included a library; a room, she described, which was filled with tons of books. “She’d make us walk over to the dictionary in the library, which was on one of those mounts like you’d see in churches, opened up all the time—a podium, I guess. And we’d have to go look it up, whatever it was, and read it out loud.”

Her studies would lead to the natural sort of conclusions which the Cold War and its resulting counterpart, the space race, not to mention the shock and awe that was rock n’ roll, seemed to promote. Growing up, Patricia was what one might describe an evolutionary agnostic. “I never really thought about God,” she confessed. As a child “I’d pick up the family Bible and read Revelation because I was young and I had no idea what it was saying, but it was scary.”

Life however was good for the Steere family. Despite moving around variously throughout western Michigan, they soon found the residence at Gull Lake, nestled directly upon the golf course and a stone’s throw from the Gull Lake Country Club, worth hanging their hats in. Patricia recalls her mother Judith socializing with the ladies, playing golf, paddle tennis and bridge, while her father stuck mostly to golf. It was charity however which filled most of her mother’s concerns. Judith Steere eventually earned a Master’s degree in social work sometime in the 1970’s and took work as a counselor, where she “helped abused and runaway children.”

After their divorce, Judith took her three children to be near her mother in Florida, while David remained in Michigan. Patricia would attend the bulk of her high school education in Cooper City, Florida, neatly wedged between Fort Lauderdale and Everglades National Park. It was a union however which would soon be restored. David and Judith remarried. Patricia finished her grade school career at Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, class of 1981.

As a young woman, Patricia found herself taking up the family business, working first as a part time DJ at her father’s radio station. “I ended up doing the morning news,” she said, “then afternoon’s full time.” Upon learning that he too would be retiring, Patricia decided to venture elsewhere into radio on her own. “I ended up getting a DJ job in Turlock, California. I wanted to be in California but not in a town like that. It was a start though, and I stayed in radio full time until the late nineties.”

Her radio career would come to an end in New Orleans.

“It was a good upbringing,” she concluded. Despite a short interim, “I had parents who remained together until the end—a model of love.” Their common accord is something that she aspired for her own life. “My father told me a long time ago, whatever you do, when you do it, if it was on the front page of the newspaper, be certain that you’d be fine with it.”

Years later, Patricia would return to broadcasting. She had discovered a community, quite unexpectedly, where her skills could once more be applied. But this time it was different. This time she had stumbled upon something much larger than herself. The shape of the Cold War and the space race, and in fact the earth itself which hoped to contain it, had changed. Her father’s advice, however, would not. After all, it was very good advice—given the proper application.

And Patricia Steere hoped to follow it to the letter.

14

SHHHH, NEW ORLEANS

IN AS LITTLE AS 300 WORDS, Missy Wilkinson, a journalist for the New Orleans based newspaper Gambit, managed to capture the Patricia that tens of thousands of flat earthists, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have come to either love or hate. Dated January 27, 2012, the article in question is called Shopgirl style: Patricia Steere of A Girl is a Gun, and features a picture of Steere posing for the camera precisely as Wilkinson describes her, applying a “precise auburn coif, beauty mark and perfectly fitted dress.” The woman who’d spoken to Gambit’s reporter over the phone with a melodic yet articulate voice, pleasantly cool and clipped, “would have been intimidating if she wasn’t so nice,” Wilkinson admitted, adding, “I’m still a little cowed by her sharply defined aesthetic.”

When Wilkinson asked the store’s owner to describe her fashion sense, Patricia responded: “I am not attracted to trends. I find them boring. I have a look that suits me and is me. It’s not ‘what’s hot now look.’ I don’t pay attention to what celebrities are wearing, either. I wear vintage-inspired clothing that I carry in my store A Girl Is A Gun, but not in a literal costumed character way. I’m not trying to look like I’m back in the 1940s or ’50s or like someone famous. I look like Patricia Steere. I keep it simple accessory-wise and always add something off kilter. As Dorothy Parker said, ‘A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.’”

“It was a cute little store,” Patricia recalled during our exchange. “The dresses were modest below the knee length and in the mid-range price point. I enjoyed creating the store but didn’t like running it. I got bored standing around in it all day.” A Girl Is A Gun was no more than a year old at the moment of Wilkinson’s visit, and wouldn’t last more than three in all. It was sold in 2014—the very year her mother died. “And I got the money in 2015, some of it anyways,” she said, referring to the well-to-do life that had resulted from her parents career in radio. “But there’s always been a Steere family trust, so I’ve always had a life like that.”

The question lingered over her now—with New Orleans finally behind her and Houston on the horizon, what would Patricia Steere do with her life?

It is often and just as repeatedly told how Patricia’s New Orleans brick and mortar project would follow her footsteps into the flat earth Movement only one year later as an inconvenient specter of sorts—always grabbing at her heels, as if she were standing over a grave of her own design, secrets in plain sight which she had hoped to remain hidden, and plaguing her lofty ambitions.

I disagree.

Her tormentors will gladly direct your attention to the fact that Patricia’s portrait in Gambit includes two identical Andy Warhol inspired canvas prints, conveniently hung on the wall behind her, both of which depicts the closely detailed features of a woman’s lower face, most notably a red lacquered finger nail poised over her mouth, as if to suggest a secret is in motion.

Sshh.

The twin prints, appropriately titled Sshh, originate from British pop artist Deborah Azzopardi. Though her original is valued at half a million pounds, IKEA has sold millions of them for as little as 10 euros. Flat earthists would later interpret Patricia’s IKEA store bought prints to mean she was employing a masonic Sshh sign as yet another scattered clue, puzzle pieces really which, when assembled together revealed her true agenda, the bigger picture, most notably that she was a male agent posing as a woman and that she had planned her infiltration of the budding flat earth Movement all along.

“I didn’t know about Masonic signs in 2011,” she said.

In the following years, reports of nefarious dealings would plague Patricia Steere by members of the very community that she had helped to create, and hoped to nurture. A local businessman who printed shirts and stickers for her store bought it from her in 2014. Since he was a Satanist, or so the claim went (he certainly dealt in Baphomet imagery) the next logical conclusion is that Patricia is also a Satanist. And besides, “they say I look like a man in the picture.” So there’s that. Before Patricia’s tormenters were through, they would speak of her brick and mortar boutique in terms of a revolving door with transgender models always coming and going, devilishly plotting the infiltration of a Movement which had yet to be born. The store itself, apparently, was only a front for something far more sinister, essentially a complete subversion of Mark Sargent’s own flat earth clues. But even the very title, A Girl Is A Gun, would be twisted and writhed into a wrangled implication. The idea, Patricia explained, was that a woman is dangerous and unpredictable, even deadly. “Flat earthiers would later take the name and insist I have a penis.”

Sometimes you see people in the streets “looking like they don’t care,” Patricia would tell journalist Angela Hernandez several months later—same magazine. “My inspiration is to spread the care.” Patricia Steere advocates dressing to the nines every day, Hernandez wrote, because, as Steere would say, “what is your life if not one grand special occasion?”

Clearly, Gun was a reflection of Patricia’s sartorial point of view. Missy Wilkinson had made a point of the fact that she left Patricia’s store wanting to dress like her. Such a suggestion would later prove an insult to flat earthists everywhere.

No—No, brick and mortar didn’t haunt Patricia Steere’s tenure in the flat earth Movement.

Quite contrarily, Patricia Steere haunted Patricia Steere.

13

HOT POTATOES

IT WAS 2015 AND 52-YEAR OLD PATRICIA STEERE was on YouTube, kind of just meandering around, clicking on links which might quench her curiosity, looking up things of note. She had already settled upon the fact that 9-11 was an inside job, “and because I’d been down that conspiracy rabbit hole on YouTube, things of that nature kept getting suggested to me.” That’s when Patricia stumbled upon the 2001 documentary, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon, and then it’s 2004 follow-up, Astronauts Gone Wild, both Bart Sibrel films.

Wait, we never went to the moon? The very notion fascinated Patricia. Why would they lie to us? “I looked at both of those films and wasn’t quite sure what was being said other than the fact that we never went to space.” So she followed the rabbit trail, which YouTube haphazardly led her on, directly around the orbit of the moon landing hoax until she stumbled upon a man inhabiting the deepest unexplored pocket of cyber space named Mark Sargent. But when Patricia first discovered him, specifically YouTube’s recommendation that she watch Flat Earth Clues, “it wasn’t his clues as they are today, compiled all into one video. They were a series of clues, at that time as many as 10—I don’t really remember. But they were still coming out, is what I am trying to say. So I would devour them, and then would watch his new clues as they came out, which would be up to clue 13 by this point.”

She quickly discovered Eric Dubay.

And just like practically anyone who first discovers flat earth online and relishes in the find, days went by while she fed her obsession. Eat, sleep, poop, flat earthrepeat.

Up until March of 2015, Patricia had been straddling the science of reason that found little effort in bleeding atheism with the agnostic, “and I said to myself after a bit of time digesting, ‘I need to do something. I need to help. We’ve been lied to. Money has been stolen that could be used to feed and educate and clothe and fight disease, but instead it’s being pushed into space.’”

And then she thought about space in its precarious relationship with the shape of the earth, and for the first moment in her life she finally realized, “It’s a spiritual thing.”

“And at that time I was not—I wasn’t an atheist—but I was just one of those people who believed in evolution and science and, you know, probably God didn’t exist, and it didn’t make sense how God could exist, due to the way we’ve been taught science.” For Patricia, it was all old philosophy from a less civilized age. “But then I realized, after I had digested a lot of the flat earth material that, in essence, what is being hidden from us is God—the Creator. And who had conspired to do the hiding? I wasn’t quite sure. A lot of videos told me different things. But I got the why of it—definitely.” They were hiding God, which only begged the next question. If God existed, and if it was the agents of Scientism who had lied to her about the shape of everything, then was religion still within reason? “And I thought, ‘What religion has a lot of good advice in it and good ways to live your life?”

In those regards flat earth became a quest—one might even say a spiritual pilgrimage. But rather than take the ancient road towards Jerusalem, the destination remained undecided—for now. Meanwhile, something needed to be done. “There have been so many things in this world that have really bothered me, wars and famines, injustice, and persecution, 9-11, but I never did anything about it. I just watched it go on by.” She had always stumbled upon the problem too long after the fact. “But since it was so early in this awakening, I thought I could get on board immediately and start to make a difference, because it was somewhat new to the internet.”

“So, I said to myself, I’m going to start a channel on YouTube, something I’ve never done before. I had toyed with the idea when I became vegan, because I didn’t want to hurt the animals. I wanted to hurt the least amount of animals possible.” Then again, the problems of the world always seemed too vast, her concerns for them always seemingly arriving too long after the fact, “and though I’m a passionate vegan, I don’t really participate too much in vegan anything. I’m not part of vegan groups. I don’t do protests.” But “this grabbed me—this flat earth.”

Her vegan friends did not appreciate the sudden emergence of flat earth material in her social media life. It was, she said, “to the chagrin of many.” Patricia simply hated to let them down. Regardless, it was a recently acquired social media friend, Michael Lewis, who appreciated the fact that she was both a vegan and flat earthist—the only one he’d since met. It was Lewis, she said, who drug her into the fight. “Stars are Souls, that’s his YouTube channel, he eventually got sick of the drama and quit. Most of those flat earthers from that time have since gone.” She paused to consider the faces of those who helped to kick start the movement, names and personalities which very few flat earthists today, in as little as a few years, likely remember or know. They left “probably due to the drama and stress, I would imagine. Nobody seriously gets into flat earth and returns to the globe. That just doesn’t happen. It’s just the bullying, the drama, the stress, and sometimes personal family issues. Michael Lewis left flat earth because his footprint wouldn’t fare well with his work.”

The documentary in which Lewis interviewed her for was supposed to take ten minutes of her time, but ended up consuming two hours, at the end of which he and Patricia found themselves talking and laughing.

Patricia suddenly blurted out, “I’m starting a YouTube channel tomorrow. Will you be my first guest?”

There was however a complication to her request. Patricia had been putting off her proposed endeavor for months. “I’m the least technically minded person ever. And for me to even start a YouTube channel. I’d wake up in the morning and say, ‘I’ve got to sit at my computer and do technical stuff, figure out how to make a channel—that’s horrible. I’ll do it tomorrow.’” It was a conversation which greeted her, and which she purpose to hold, each and every morning.

Wait—did I really just say that? Did I just invite Michael Lewis onto a YouTube channel which doesn’t actually exist…?

Lewis agreed.

She was taking a shower when the title Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes came to her. “Nobody would remember Patricia Steere, really. But with a name like Hot Potatoes I could talk about flat earth and other assorted things. I could talk about 9-11. I could talk about chemtrails. I could talk about anything that has to do under the banner of hot potato issues.” Lewis was her very first co-host. “I think we did three shows together, with Stars are Souls. And while doing shows with him, I wanted to interview people. That was the idea.” The dawning hours of the flat earth movement are almost unrecognizable to the personalities which seek to fill it now. “Back then many people didn’t even use their real names. It was often just pictures with voiceovers, or an experiment. Sometimes people did use their physical appearance,” like Math Powerland or Eric Dubay, “but hardly any really.”

Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes went live on August 23, 2015, and with it a new vision for the blossoming movement. For Patricia, this wouldn’t simply be a back alley scuttling of anonymous gurus, like something out of the Matrix, who dial the homes of truth seekers, such as Neo, and wake them from their sleep. “I wanted to find out who these people really are. I know who I am. I know how I got into this. I know what I went through. But I felt alone in a way, because nobody in my real life had these thoughts. I wanted to find out who that guy Mark Sargent was. How did he grow up? How did he come to this idea? On Flat Earth Clues, I didn’t hear him talking about himself. Same with Eric Dubay—him and Math Powerland—even Stars are Souls. I mean, I wanted to know who all these people were as humans. What connected us, what created in our mind this awakening?”

“And so, that was what my channel was destined to be, a channel that delved into the human aspect of flat earth—not the experiments, not the proofs, not the demonstrations, not the religion really, but who the people were. And if the people happened to be Christians, and if the people happened to do experiments, well, that would be included in there. But I wanted to find out how they grew up, where they grew up, what they thought about it, how it effect their thoughts and their personal life and their career.  I wanted to find out what makes people tick.” And so Patricia Steere of Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes set out interviewing other flat earthists. “And in a way, as my channel started to grow, I knew I could interview other channels smaller than me, and give them the leg up. And I could also reach out to bigger channels than me, like Mark Sargent, and get them to say, sure, because people were hungry to connect—and it was the right time. And so I interviewed many, many people.”

The very jukebox that had sat in the lobby of her father’s radio station since the 1970’s became a set piece behind her as she broadcasted her interviews on YouTube. Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes would last for four years and 294 episodes.

12

MARK SARGENT

PATRICIA STEERE MAY HAVE DISCOVERED Mark Sargent while intellectually orbiting the moon which cannot possibly be landed upon, but it was Mark Sargent who kept a curious eye upon those who entered flat earth. Sargent discovered Patricia. In fact, one of the very first comments on her YouTube channel was written by Sargent.

“And it said: Great job, keep it flat, or something like that.”

Sargent however hadn’t remembered that the inevitable host of Hot Potatoes had already contacted him several months earlier. Inspiration had enticed Patricia to write him one day in March of 2015 to express her newfound wonder and gratitude.

Thank you for opening my eyes to flat earth. I’m going to start my channel someday soon.

Sargent immediately wrote her back.

Hey, call me sometime.

She didn’t call.

But this time, despite Sargent not recollecting their brief online handshake, Patricia was determined to follow through with it. “We ended up e-mailing a little before calling. We talked on the phone for about two hours nonstop. We talked about flat earth and our lives. I sat in my car and we hit it off immediately. We were about the same age. We weren’t interested in gossip. We weren’t interested in scandal. We wanted to keep it moving forward, keep it positive.” Her two hour phone conversation, while seated behind the wheel of her car, soon thereafter became a series of phone conversations. They called them secret shows. “So we started a show together based on those private conversations, based on our secret shows.”

And then one day it occurred to her, maybe Mark Sargent is the man for me.

Patricia had stopped dating most men because they simply couldn’t make the jump into the flat, disc-shaped reality which suddenly encompassed the entirety of her world. She wanted a flat earthist for a man—somebody who was awake. And Sargent was a flat earthist. Sargent was awake.

“So I went out to where he was and stayed a couple of days and then came back. And there just wasn’t chemistry there.” There was really nothing to it. From that moment forward, Patricia and Mark may have been synonymous with flat earth, but only as associates and business partners. “People always said we were flirting. We weren’t flirting. We just had that sort of relationship, you know, that easily ping-ponging off each other relationship, and he was always very complimentary about me being attractive on his videos, but he was never doing it in a sexual way. It was more of a respectful kindness that he offered me.”

Then again, anyone who’s ever driven off towards the setting sun, metaphorically speaking, turning their eyes from the unforeseeable future to gaze once more into the rearview mirror of their life, may have noticed the sticker which is sometimes placed there by the automobile’s manufacturer to remind them, Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

In other words, “Mark Sargent and I,” Patricia assured me with a generous breath of warmth and hospitality over the phone, “were friends.”

11

EVERY FLAT EARTHIST HAS A FACE, EVERY AGENDA A NAME & PERSONALITY. LET’S ALL MEET-UP AND BE FRIENDS.

HE WAS HALF SPANISH AND ENGLISH by way of his mother and father, and the fact that he lived in Stockport, England, while Patricia had adopted Houston, was perhaps only a hiccup, a minor complication at best, because Antonio Subirats was a flat earthist. Nothing great stood out about their initial interview on Hot Potatoes, she recalled, “but I liked him. We had chemistry.” Despite the incoming flux of occupants settling into the flat earth, the natural science of attraction “hadn’t happened before.”

“Before and after an interview, people and I correspond.” But when it came to Antonio, he and Patricia kept right on corresponding. “We started talking on Skype—on camera.  We had a little routine where we talked to each other, when I was done with the day, though he was in England. And we got to know more about each other, and our backgrounds, things like our favorite music and favorite food, to our deeper feelings about life and relationships and love. And we ended up having a relationship online, although it was never a sexual relationship.”

By sexual Patricia was referring to “that sexting stuff.” Clearly, her father’s advice was not forgotten. Whatever you do, when you do it, if it was on the front page of the newspaper, be certain that you’d be fine with it. “I’d never do anything sexual on camera—never, never. It’s not me. And besides, he never asked me to do anything like that.”

Regardless, their desire for each other grew. And as a small measure of relief, a solution soon presented itself—a temporary one, at least. A mutual friend of theirs, another Englander and flat earthist, his name was Nathan Oakley, announced he was planning a meet-up in Oxford. “Now, when it comes to meet-ups,” Patricia was quick to remind me. “I had created the very first flat earth meet up ever.” It was Earth Day, April of 2016, she recalled—Houston, Texas. 25 open invites went out. 25 flat earthists showed. “It was a multi-course vegan meal, in a very nice restaurant in a nice part of town, and I paid for everything.” The idea fell directly in line with hers and Mark Sargent’s secret show thinking. No gossip. No scandal. Let’s get to know the face behind the research. Let’s make flat earth personable.

More precisely, Patricia Steere envisioned an international community.

 “I did two of those a year apart. Both got critically panned by flat earthers.” The complaints quickly poured in. Who does Patricia Steere think she is, putting on dinner parties? Patricia Steere thinks she’s so fancy. Patricia Steere thinks she’s better than everyone else. “In reality, I wanted to move flat earth to the next level, where it wouldn’t simply be on YouTube, where people could connect in person, because I saw a great need for that. I saw a need for people to form relationships. There was so much loneliness. I saw singles needing another like-minded individual in their life. Even couples needed to meet other like-minded friends, and in their own neighborhood.” And besides, “those who came loved them and enjoyed them, and they were very successful. Some of the same people from the first year came back to the second year.”

That is not to say that everyone enjoyed the second mixer. In as little as one year, Patricia Steere’s international audience, more specifically, the way in which they perceived her, had changed dramatically.

And it all started in Oxford.

Patricia loved travel. She loved flat earth. And she thought, indeed it seemed quite possible, that she loved Antonio Subirats too. And he loved her, apparently. Then again, if the chemistry didn’t work out between them, the flat earth meet-up would make a perfect distraction. They could walk away from the whole thing, including their late night chats, like two mature adults who could playfully claim, we always had Oxford.

But just in case their first in-person meeting was a hit, Subirats invited Patricia to stay with him. “We already knew we were going to be a couple. Antonio even began talking marriage, believe it or not, even if we’d never met.” Just consider this a test run. “And I felt like I was falling in love, which is what he was expressing to me as well.  So I went to Oxford.”

More specifically, she flew to Manchester.

Antonio was there to greet her at the airport. He was waiting, she recalled, with a passionate kiss and a bouquet of flowers—apparently in that order. Then they drove back to his place.

“He made us tea,” she said, “and we didn’t drink it.”

10

COMMUNITY

“ALL MY VIDEOS ARE DELETED,” Patricia maintained over the phone as a word of warning, “so the dates are fuzzy to me now.” In fact, her entire flat earth experience seems rather compounded and convoluted into one toxically blended milkshake of familiar faces entangled with conceptual paraphrases. The first Flat Earth International Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, which its founder Robbie Davidson regularly refers to as historic, and which undoubtedly parallels some of Patricia’s own vision, simply bleeds now with the second International Conference in Denver, Colorado, only one year later, when the cracks and the fissures of her newfound reality, along with the enclosed cosmology which promised to contain them, simply washed away in floodwaters of hatred. Her initial online introduction to Antonio was 2016, Patricia seemed half assured, maybe. She couldn’t be certain of that either. And the meet-up in Oxford simply occurred in warm weather, she recalled. But one thing is for certain. Her two week stay in England, particularly the one-day event in Oxford which made a monument of their crossroads, personified a vision.

Video footage of Oakley’s meet-up in Oxford seems to sway dreamily, as if we are panning through a moment in time never fully appreciated nor grasped, though perhaps not by those who inhabit its shots—a passing fling however which has slipped forever from the rest of our fingertips. Patricia is dressed in a flowery dress and a yellow sweater with a wide-brimmed sun hat, essentially blending the aesthetic of her New Orleans brick and mortar with the etiquette of a Houston mixer and the community vision which she and Sargent had mutually hoped to inspire. Aside from Nathan Oakley, there are other familiar faces. Martin Liedtke is moved by the romance of it all. But most notably, Patricia and Subirats are clearly in love—the wobble of the camera testifies to that fact.  That’s when she and Antonio Subirats, Patricia said, “began a relationship.”

Cold tea remained on the table, and then afterwards they did a lot of talking.

Antonio lived in England, Patricia in America. A pond on the Azimuthal equidistant projection map separated them, and now that they’ve consummated their love, Skype simply couldn’t suffice—that sort of talk. How would they possibly make this relationship work? Antonio had two daughters from a previous relationship. They were quite young, so he couldn’t move to America. But Patricia had nothing holding her back. She had the money and the resources to move to England.

“And that was what was arranged,” she said.

“So the plan was, I was to go back home and in approximately 45 days—that’s what I thought it would take to wrap up my apartment that I lived in—I’d get all my stuffed packed, shipped overseas, and get the arrangement for my three cats to have the necessary paperwork to get them transported as well. Houston is an oil and gas city, an international city, the right city to ship people across seas. All it takes is money. There are people who handle the paperwork for you. And that is what I did.”

Patricia’s cats arrived several days before she did.

The sort of organizational muscle that would be needed to see something like the Flat Earth International Conference, fully realized only one year later, not to mention the dozens of alternative flat earth conferences which have since materialized across the world, still maintained the promises of a pipe dream in 2016. In hindsight, the UK experience seems to have symbolized her vision for the flat earth movement, if only on a Lilliputian scale. Patricia wanted a community bonded by their love of one common identity. She and Antonio seemed to embody that—John and Yoko all over again.

And to prove that point they started making videos together. They called them Secret Hangouts. The idea was that several people, herself included, would be sporadically scattered in pockets across the world, she in America, Antonio in England, perhaps somebody else in Spain. “And at that time I was making videos with Mark Sargent. I called them the Secret Show, all tongue-in-cheek. It was a weekly magazine show which hoped to make a community,” one which attempted to make the sort of statement that would likely be expected of a movement, a “we’re all in this together” approach, “where it would be discussed, flat earth, and all the things that had happened in flat earth over the last week. We’d talk about new experiments and what was coming up. Listeners could interact in the comments.” Essentially, “It was a community aspect, lighthearted, but community based.”

Personalities like Math Powerland and Eric Dubay, who had only recently introduced the world to a dangerous idea, and which seemed to explode online, as if it, the very movement that is, were rooted from a matrix-based landline telephone and multitudes of imprisoned, disenfranchised gamers flocked to each booth quicker than they could dial the numbers to free them, recognized the fruit of community as new leadership opportunities—and competition. For Patricia Steere, the movement belonged to nobody and everyone. And yet flat earth, which by some appearances was kick started by Powerland as a comedy routine and furthermore bolstered by Dubay’s 200 Proofs, now seemed to be slipping from their fingertips into the hands of lesser knowns, all of whom took their ideas and ran with them. Dubay had already started making hit pieces against Patricia. He aptly titled them, Flat Earth and Other Shill Potatoes. As one of Powerland and Dubay’s early and lesser known arrivals, Patricia Steere was personable and emotionally charged; a pretty face behind a microphone in a short-lived epoch of disorderly online activity, when most conspiracy YouTubers kept their identities hidden and their voices contained to slideshows and screen shots. And worst of all, Patricia Steere was a woman—an easy target.

Again, “that was maybe 2015, or it could be 2016,” Patricia said. “Dubay’s channel has been taken down and put back up several times, so it’s difficult recalling a date. But it was weird because I didn’t have a big channel in 2015.” Why is this flat earther, whom she clearly admired, a fixture to the Movement in her mind, suddenly making videos on her? Why was he insinuating that the last three letters of her first name, PatriCIA, once capitalized, somehow proved that she was a CIA agent?

Though it is perhaps plausible that she contemplated the matter while boarding the plane, it is quite unlikely that anything other than her anticipated reunion with Antonio Subirats hugged center stage. Subirats and the legion of videos they would make while seated together on his couch—joking, laughing, obviously a couple in love. Never in her wildest dreams did Patricia Steere think, nor could she imagine, that Eric Dubay’s videos were a harbinger of things to come.

Her move to England would not even last three months.

9

LEAVING FLAT EARTH

UNBEKNOWNST TO PATRICIA, ANOTHER CONTROVERSY was waiting to welcome her UK undertaking, and on the very day of her arrival, no less. In time, it would ferment into the sort of hemlock laced poison in which anyone with a laptop and Wi-Fi could pass around and drink.

Subirats put out a video implying that he was gay.

“I don’t know why he did that,” Patricia sighed. “It caused lots of ripples and waves within the flat earth community.” Initially, Subirats insisted to his girlfriend that others had edited a video simply to try and hurt his reputation, and perchance endanger their community. Patricia believed him. Naturally, “I defended him, like, I knew he wasn’t gay. Only later did I learn in the video that there was some things you couldn’t just slice and dice to make people do, like unzipping your own pants, and grabbing your own butt. That can’t be done with editing. You can put words into people’s mouths, you know, but he did those things. Why did he do those things on video—make up some quote-unquote gay video, when he’s not gay? Was he doing it to create some sort of controversy? Why did the video come out on the first day I arrived in the UK?”

As one might expect of such ill-advised decisions, their “relationship slowly began to show some serious cracks. Now everyone who’s dated has had that happen to them before. You meet somebody and you think they’re great and then you get to know them and find out they’re nuts. I men, we’ve all had that happen. Even if it’s not dating—you had people you thought were good people to hang out with that turned out not to be. That’s normal. But in this internet world, and then moving to another country, these surprises proved to have a bigger impact.”

“Antonio lived in a very, very small,” she started to say, and then paused to consider her words, “nothing like I’m used to living in. He lived off government assistance one-hundred percent. Now I didn’t know that when I moved there. He told me he lived off of his paintings. And there was paint in his apartment, and canvas, and brushes that were used, but he didn’t paint anything. So I was a bit shocked to find out when I got there that he was on—I guess it’s the dole, they call it, and I didn’t understand because he told me he painted for a living, but then he never once painted while I was there, which was weird.”

Subirats would spend most of his time on YouTube, hangouts which would ache through the night until 4 or 5am. Sometimes she’d wake alone in bed and find him asleep on the sofa with cigarettes scattered around him. “I didn’t understand—didn’t get it. I was in the midst of falling in love, understanding that I’m with a very broke man, understanding that I’m with a man with no motivation at all, understanding that I’m with a man who stays up to 5am every night doing videos, and who had also heavily begun attacking other YouTubers on his videos, including the Christian community, right when I’m there. He hated Christians. Jesus was fake and there’s no such thing as God—really delusional. He never did those things before I moved there. But when I was there it all started.” Subirats targeted flat earth YouTuber Orphan Red for being fat and stupid. And yet, “he wouldn’t stop. He was on a rampage. It made every moment uncomfortable. I never understood what provoked him.”

As they continued making public videos together on the couch, painting themselves as two lovers who perhaps embodied and harmonized the dangerous ideas which they stroked on canvas, the anger began in private. “Every meal, every interaction, involved his anger towards his family about not understanding flat earth and chemtrails—the same anger he expressed towards me when we were alone. They called me and pulled me aside one day, and said, ‘We love him, just ignore that—it’s just his Spanish blood.’ I wasn’t used to a family that had angry outbursts.”

In order to make the move, Patricia had given most of her things away, including her car, a 2016 Mercedes E-class. “I had a beautiful place, but I did it for love,” she said. “I didn’t do it for money, because he didn’t have any. I realized that if I moved there then I would have to be the one to get us out of the apartment that he was living in on government assistance and into a place that I felt comfortable in, but without offending his pride and ego, because you can’t do that to somebody. But I was going to take on that burden, because he was a flat earther. We were on the same page. We were physically attracted. I saw him as a deep, kind, spiritual person—very deep; very philosophical; very intelligent. I saw him as the kind of man I could have in my life. But then I got there and I saw a very different person.”

 “I told him right away that sex for me as a post-menopausal woman needed gentleness when getting started, and lubrication. He was fine with that,” she said, and up until then, understanding. It was the night of their first argument when decorum fell by the wayside. “He was attacking Christians. He’d spent the entire evening before that railing against God, Jesus and the Bible on YouTube, on his channel, and I asked if he would ease up a bit and try and understand that flat earth belongs to everyone. He said he wasn’t going to water down his message to please me. I said I wasn’t asking him to do that but instead to be compassionate to others. I said he didn’t seem like the man I first met who said he cared about the people in flat earth.”

It was after her confrontation that very night “when he approached me for, as he put it, sexy time. He was aggressive and forceful in a very bad way,” she said. In no uncertain terms, Subirats “was hurting me.”

Patricia repeatedly told Subirats to stop.

Please stop. It hurts.

 Subirats growled, “You can’t tell me what to do!”

His eyes seemed to penetrate into her soul with every thrust, and his growls, Patricia recalled, it was as though she was bound by man who was possessed.  “He fully understood what he was doing, but it was like he was dead inside. I felt—cold. We never had intercourse again.”

The next day Antonio commented how sex with her was “the most satisfying he’d ever had.”

Most satisfying…? Patricia thought. Is that a normal turn of phrase? “Sex had seemed unfeeling, robotic and more importantly he never addressed the elephant in the room. He willingly hurt me.” But it was something more than that. It wasn’t simply undesired pain. She just couldn’t bring herself to say it, much less think it—the cruel cold of loneliness and self-doubt. Patricia ended up having to get cranberry pills from Holland and Barrett, a chain natural health food store in the UK. She didn’t have a car and so Subirats drove her. “The urinary tract infection came from the forced sex,” she said.

“The relationship became abusive. The level of mental cruelty—it became physical, where he hurt me. I didn’t really have people I could talk to because I was there alone in another country, without citizenship—because we were planning on getting married. That was the plan. That was how I planned to stay there. I couldn’t just go to the police after what happened, because I didn’t have a car. I didn’t have access to Antonio’s car keys, and it was a stick shift. I thought, what am I going to do? Mental cruelty, physical abuse;” even her own self-doubt as to the reality of what had transpired, “I’d never experienced anything like this.”

Neglecting the police is a decision which would later haunt her online. If it was rape, her instigators would repeatedly state, though she herself could never bring herself to say it, then why didn’t she go to the police? “I was scared for my life if I went to the police,” she confessed. After she reported him, where would she go? There was nowhere to go. “I was scared for the life of my cats.” Subirats, she said, had shown himself to be pure evil.

“I needed to get out,” she said.

Getting out would mean a lot of undoing, financially speaking. She would need a plane ticket, for starters. But then there was the matter of her cats. Patricia contacted a vet who could pick them up and provide carriers, take them for exams, and then send them to the airport, after an appointed waiting period, before they could fly back to America. But even more-so, getting out meant untangling herself from “the emotional implications, because I had fallen in love.”

And so, as they continued expressing their newfound Utopia by way of YouTube videos, Patricia plotted secretly to leave. “I didn’t want to tell him outright because I was afraid of him by that point. Days would go by with just silence, except of course for YouTube videos. But I knew I had to leave. I did this all without telling him,” her exit plan, that is, “as he slept throughout the day.”

One of Subirats’ own sisters helped carry Patricia’s suitcases to the airport.

Patricia’s next YouTube appearance would come one week later. Another Secret Show, with Mark Sargent as her guest. In the intervening days between she had already found a temporary place to live and had bought a new car. “I never explained what had happened between me and Antonio. Nobody knew there had been a problem between us. I simply said, I’m back, that didn’t work out too well, but on with the show, and then continued on with the video.”

Subirats however found his way to the live chat.

Though separated once again by two continents and an ocean between, neither his nor her presence, awkwardly silent now and constrained in the same internet chat room, went unnoticed. Patricia carefully watched his comments without deleting him. But Subirats had many friends, it seems; including the moderator. Tony Russo. In a community of prying eyes and ears and loose lips, all of which had the instantaneous habit of spreading to thousands at the simple indiscriminate clap of a keyboard, Patricia seemingly had no one to talk to or confide in.

“I had personal friends contacting me, saying, ‘you’re back, what happened? Let’s chat.’ So I did a private group Skype chat with my closest flat earth friends. We all talked about what happened, and I leveled with them about what happened with the mental and physical abuse,” most notably the incident, “why I didn’t go to the police, and why I left. One person who was in that conversation,” that would be Russo, “who was a moderator on her channel, reported back to Antonio everything that was said. This individual, he was in the live chat but didn’t have the camera on. So I didn’t even know the person was there—nobody did. He listened in as I confided about certain things, and then he left. Everyone had vowed to not make any videos about it—not talk about it. This was a completely private conversation.”

Soon after she confided in her friends, one of them messaged her.

Go to YouTube right now. Go to Antonio’s channel.

“And the video was called, Patricia Steere, Flat Earth’s Biggest Psychopath, with a picture of Paris Hilton, of all people, on the front thumbnail picture, with a description that read, A Shot across the Bow.” That’s pirate talk. “It would air in three hours or something.” She and her friends watched it on Skype together, and as one would imagine by the title, Patricia Steere was painted with psychopathic strokes.

Subirats had a reputation to keep. A rapist…? No—no—no, this was damage control. He needed Patricia discredited, immediately. He needed to “paint me as crazy, so if anyone talked openly about it, I’d be the deranged one. I never had any intention of making a tell-all video.” More specifically, Subirats desperately needed to start a campaign of hatred against Patricia “in order to get me to leave flat earth—his exact words.”

“Everything he said had a slight glimmer of truth to it. It was a masterfully done video. Friends were going online and telling him to stop.” Though they had sworn secrecy, one individual who had personally been in on the Skype conversation and had heard Patricia’s intimate confessions typed a message into the chat box.

YOU’RE A FORKING RAPIST.

Only he didn’t spell fork.

“His name was Stephen Chess, by the way,” Patricia said. “Everyone had promised to keep quiet, but Stephen told Antonio, you’re a fucking rapist. That’s how the so-called false rape accusations began.”

In turn, Chess would have as many as ten consecutive attack videos made upon him. Anyone and everyone who stood up for Patricia in the face of empty words were immediately humiliated. Patricia got caught making false rape accusations literally became an anthem of countless keyboard warriors.

“David Weiss was my friend,” she said. “David stuck up for me.”

In turn, Antonio would turn on David Weiss.

23405924_248123069049864_6337306288765739906_o
Moments before our first meeting at the Flat Earth International Conference in Raleigh, NC, 2017

8

THE ‘R’ WORD

“WAIT, HOLD ON,” I STOPPED HER. “So you never actually used the ‘R’ word.”

No,” she said. “Nobody in on the Skype conversation went out and publicly called him a rapist. Only Stephen Chest did. Stephen Chess said that.”

I said, “So I guess what I’m trying to understand is, did he or didn’t he?”

“Rape me…? I wasn’t even able to process it when it happened. I didn’t tell him he was raping me when it happened. But I let him know it was hurting and he needed to stop. I was hurt. I was bleeding. I got a urinary tract infection afterwards. He was showing me this other side of him. I was shocked. I was scared. All of it took a lot of time to process. It was all so scary, and it wasn’t until the plane ride back that it had occurred to me what had truly happened.”

“And you’ve never gone public with this before.”

“No,” she said. “I’ve never spoken about it.”

“Patricia, so what exactly are you saying? Did he or didn’t he…?”

“Antonio Subirats raped me,” she said, “and I’m willing to stand by it.”

7

LEAVING FLAT EARTH CONTINUED

FEW FLAT EARTHISTS WERE PRESENT to witness Antonio Subirats pillage and plunder Patricia Steere’s reputation. His shot across the bow is in no way legendary, but his arsonry, and the amount of oxygen it would take to spread the flames, has likely surpassed even his own expectations. While Patricia Steere, Flat Earth’s Biggest Psychopath raged on in live time, Martin Liedtke attempted to cool his flames.

ANTONIO, STOP!

NONE OF THIS IS TRUE!

SHE’S NOT A PSYCHOPATH!

I MET HER IN OXFORD!

But it was too late. For Subirats, Patricia Steere, Flat Earth’s Biggest Psychopath was only the beginning. “I completely ignored him. But he made video after video after video after video. He talked about things in that video that I had told my friends in the private Skype conversation. He wasn’t a painter. He never showered, which he didn’t—it was weird. And he smelled horrible. Physical and mental abuse was discussed in that video. He explained that he hadn’t showered in two months—why, because he wanted to encourage the psychopath to leave. He was living on government assistance—why, because he was just a poor artist, quote-unquote. He encouraged others to berate me. He said I had met Mark Sargent before flat earth, which wasn’t true. He told people I was a CIA agent. He got people to turn against me. He manned people to go lash out against me.”

It’s ironic, Patricia sighed. “A psychopath would be the one making a lot of hit videos. That’s a psychopath. A psychopath doesn’t just mind their own business and make flat earth videos.” But the hit pieces continued on others channel and his own, “hundreds probably.” Meanwhile, as Patricia continued Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes from Houston, her channel grew, and “my life had completely changed. I now owned a house, no apartment. I had another new Mercedes. I was dating. I never flinched. I never lashed out against Antonio. I never answered to any of his charges—because they were all stupid and false. And I never answered to charges from the other people who had picked up on that gossip and made their own videos.”

Subirats desperately needed new material.

His most extreme, and dare I say monumental, contribution to the flat earth movement would come seven months after Patricia had fled the UK.

PATRICIA STEERE IS A MAN.

In Patricia’s words, Antonio Subirats’ script went something like this: Hey guys, I’ve been wanting to tell you this, but ever since she left, I knew she was transgender from the moment she stepped off the airplane to visit me at the Oxford meetup, but her sexuality was her sexuality, and I just didn’t want to make a big deal about it. And when she came to live with me, I just didn’t want to tell anyone about it.

“He also told people I was broke, and that’s the reason I came to live with him. It wasn’t because he was in love with me or that he wanted to marry me, though there are plenty of videos where he said it. It’s because he was allowing me to sleep on the couch until I got my life together and found a job.  Like any broke person is going to move to England with all of their cats and furniture.  That’s not what broke people do. They stay in their own town. They don’t move across the Atlantic.”

Patricia paused over the phone, sighing heavily.

“So then he started talking about my penis.”

“He is an artist, so he drew a line drawing of a person that wasn’t even me, of a woman lying on her side, with her butt to the camera, lying on what looked like a bed, and he drew on the leg—the leg that was up—like a lump on it. He said, ‘I knew she was a transgender when I saw the shape of her leg. It wasn’t the shape of a normal woman.’”

“Now, I have totally normal legs. And I’m not transgender. I was born a female. There’s plenty of documentation to prove that, from my birth certificate to photos, which at all times were available on my public profile page, available since 2009. There are hundreds of photos of myself from a baby forward. He told people that my parents were some sort of an elite where they transgenderized me at puberty and they dressed me as a girl, and that I was really a boy. He talked about the fact that my vagina was the same color as my arm—white, because it’s not a real vagina. It’s fake. At the time, I didn’t know anything about transgenders. But after that I looked into it because I know the color of my vagina. Most men who have sex with Caucasian women know the color of their vaginas—let’s just leave it at that.”

Patricia had to look it up online, “Is the penis that is cut open in that operation, to make a man into a transgender, white skin? It’s not! To be more graphic than you probably want to know, they take a male penis and basically slice it open and mold it into a vagina. And if you’re a Caucasian man, which the accusation is that I am, the penis would be a pinkish color because that’s what a Caucasian man’s penis color would be, or like a brownish, pinkish, tannish—whatever. We know what it looks like! When it’s sliced open and made into a vagina it’s not the color of somebody’s arm. It’s the color of genital skin. So he didn’t even do his research when he made up his lies. He even got into a conversation with a woman who came onto his channel debating that I’m a man because she hugged me and said Patricia Steere is definitely a woman. She’s small. She’s petite. She’s very thin. She has some curves. She doesn’t have some outrageous big butt like Kim Kardashian or anything or big boobs. They don’t look fake. She just looks like a normal woman, Antonio.”

“Antonio had to make me into a man. Because of the rape allegation made by Stephen Chess, which was indeed true—he’d already said I was a psychopath as a sort of revenge for me leaving him, which he then turned around to say that he kicked me out. Of course part of that was I am a paid agent.  The she’s a man campaign was a way to defend his pride. In his mind it wasn’t me that didn’t want him. It was him who didn’t want me. But mostly it was a preemptive measure to protect his self.” Nobody wants to be an acknowledged rapist. Like the moon landing hoax of their devotion, “He lied about me being a man.” Pull a leg out from under the table, and everything falls. “Therefore everything else he said about me must be scrutinized. I’d like people to consider that.”

Subirats told her defender to get onto Skype with Patricia and ask that she spread her legs. Oh, and make sure that Patricia show you her white vagina, and make her use a Kleenex to wipe if off because she’ll probably put lipstick on it to make it look pink. “Yes, I know that’s graphic, but I’m telling you, this is the bullying. And the fact that the live chat on that video was going wild with people going, Patrick the Tranny!

Patricia’s a Tranny!

Pat, let’s call her Pat!

Pat has a ramshackle vagina!

Patricia said, “This became the clarion call. This became a thing. When I am a perfectly normally formed female from birth, who had normal sex with a man I loved, whom I thought I loved, with a boyfriend-future bride relationship in England, with the lights on. And I met his entire family. He was making videos saying his entire family knew I was a man from the first day. And he never had any of those family members on camera saying it, but that’s what he said. Antonio pulled this out of his hat. Remember, it was seven months after I left him. Not while I lived there.”

“In my life as a woman, as a young woman, I’ve never had a single person say, ‘Excuse me sir!’ I’ve never had anyone call me a man, think I’m a man, tell me that I shouldn’t be in a woman’s restroom, think I’m a dude, call me transgender. I don’t know any transgender people. I don’t live around any transgender people. I don’t have much to say about how in our society there seems to be an uptick in gay and transgender people other than there seems to be an uptick. I don’t know if that’s because more people seem comfortable in coming out, or the internet gives people confidence to do that sort of thing or make those sort of decisions, or maybe it’s not a decision, maybe that’s just how they were born—I don’t know. I simply don’t know because I’m not them. And I can’t speak to it, just like I can’t speak right now to what it’s like to be a black woman. How would I know? I can theorize, but I only really know what I am.”

Other psychopath videos would follow suit. “It practically became a genre. I mean, didn’t you hear what Antonio said? It was like the National Enquirer of Gossip in YouTube flat earth land.” The bullying was dulled out in such extraordinary dosages as to make her accusers, even the unknowable thousands who eagerly chimed in, administers of malpractice. “Other channels picked up on it. My name and picture were everywhere. Antonio was making video after video about all the things I said and did—all made up, about how I was trying to kill him, how I was trying to poison his coffee, literally painting the picture of a monster. But the reality was, none of that has ever been exhibited on YouTube on any of my videos, so people were saying I was fake on my channel, but he was revealing my true personality, who I truly am. And he made maybe 100 videos on me, or more. It was almost daily for a time.”

“I watched a few at the start,” Patricia seemed to shake her head at the insanity, “and then stopped.”

Subirats’ campaign of slander and deception was nothing short of shock and awe. He openly enlisted thousands of keyboard clappers to join in on the crusade, each doing their part to repeat the mantra, and regurgitated so often that the mockery itself metamorphosed into the only possible truth. In the deductive depravity of their minds, anyone who refused part in the slander, who held a hand up to their sinful voices, became the agents of arrogance. Obviously, Steere was an agent, trained from the moment of her birth, when they lopped her penis off—how could she not be? Subirats slept with her. Subirats knew. And besides, shills were everywhere.

That’s exactly the sort of thing a shill would do—come to her defense.

The paranoia parade would continue, and in an ever strengthening tide of numbers, until Subirats demands were met. Meanwhile, torches were passed around. Screens crackled. Eyes watered and glistened. There was not enough room in flat earth for the two of them. Patricia Steere must leave flat earth behind for good.

6

ALL ON BOARD THE TRANNY TRAIN

“I EVEN CONTACTED A LAWYER. I was desperate to make him stop. But I not only wanted him to stop, I wanted him to make a video admitting to the fact that he had lied, because anybody can stop saying something. That doesn’t negate what they said.”

Patricia’s lawyer explained to her, it doesn’t work that way. Firstly, he’s in another country—so, different laws. The odds of him doing agreeing to a cease and desist letter are slim to none. And besides, she had already confessed that he was poverty stricken. What are you possibly going to get out of this, Patricia?

“I really tried to pursue this with a lawyer, but he said it’s not possible.”

She then reported Subirats and his friends with YouTube.

“YouTube protected them,” Patricia said. “These videos are allowed. And I know the world doesn’t just revolve around me, and that there are many other people on YouTube having videos made about them, having all sorts of things said, and they’re allowed to be left up. YouTube secretly loves videos like this, because it creates more viewers on YouTube. It’s a toxic circle.” More viewers equal more subscribers—it’s a win-win for both YouTube and the provider.

And anyways, what was the use of a lawyer when the Subirats story became the very oxygen that so many flat earthists breathed? If it is true that women everywhere are really secretly men as a sort of subconscious subversion of our sexual urges, then they needed a human sacrifice as proof, someone within their own circle who might lend muscle, and credibility, to their own worldview.

Patricia Steere would do.

“There’s this whole corner of YouTube where these varying content providers, they call themselves Transvestigators, look at beautiful Hollywood women and call them men.” Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, J-Lo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Beyoncé—they’re all men. Not forgetting Brad Pitt, who married both Aniston and Jolie. Brad Pitt is a woman.

Likewise, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a woman and Maria Shriver a man.

“Every Hollywood actress is a woman—every,” Patricia said. “All the President’s wives are men, even going back into ancient history where it’s just drawings. They’re men. This is what Transvestigation claims. And they do it by looking at features. They claim wide-set eyes prove you’re a man. Now I kind of have wide set eyes. I also know that being a young girl and doing make-up, most of the make-up from reading Fashion Magazine when I was a young girl, when I was 16, it tells you how to achieve the look of wide-spaced eyes. That’s the desired quote-unquote standard of beauty. It’s the world’s beauty, not cloaked together eyes. But Transvestigators say women with cloaked together eyes are men. They say that women with a stronger jaw line are men. I don’t really have a super strong jaw line, like I don’t look like Maria Shriver, one of the Kennedy women. I don’t have a strong jawline like that. I have slightly high cheek bones. These are all signs of a man, supposedly. Long legs and long fingers, that’s the sign of a man. That’s me.”

“The thing is that’s not the sign of a man. I know plenty of men with closed-set eyes. And I know plenty of men who are short with stubby fingers. I know plenty of males and females who have the opposite characteristics than what these Transvestigators claim. Humans come in all shapes and sizes. We’re in the realm of looking normal. I’m not talking about dwarfism or gigantism, but that’s how they treat us.”

Women are the worst, she said. They’ll happily point out another woman’s masculine features if it makes them feel more feminine. In other words, let’s all sit around and call these beautiful women men so that we can feel more beautiful about ourselves, and while we’re at it, hope they don’t make note of our looks.

It’s not exactly like finding transgender people on YouTube is difficult to do. In fact, Patricia insisted, “there are out, proud, into the LGBT—whatever the rest of those letters are—agenda. They are out talking about their surgeries. They do videos comparing pictures of themselves as a natural boy and being all glammed up as a woman now with long pink nails and long eyelashes and eyeliner. These are a staple of the transgender crowd—the My New Boyfriend videos. It’s the transgender coming out genre. They feel the need to discuss it, not hide the fact! I’m supposed to be a transgender, but never coming out about being a transgender, or talking about being a transgender, or promoting the cause and transgender acceptance, that’s supposed to make me a transgender hidden in plain sight.”

There are literally hundreds of videos on YouTube, per chance thousands, where Patricia Steere is either outed as a man or having her penis discussed. “Videos are being made about how ugly I am and how I wear a wig. Antonio told people I couldn’t walk. I was crippled. He told people I was stupid, that I couldn’t read books. There were videos on my channel of me reading George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I read portions of the Bible on my channel.”

“The funny thing is, when I was in a relationship with Antonio, he had me read to him before bed. He loved me reading to him. But what he did, he turned around all the things I take pride in, my love of reading, my kindness, and also my pride in my femininity, because I am a feminine woman—I like perfume, I like make-up, and I love fashion. My mother was always the same. I love style. I love elegance and grace. He took it all away from me with his videos. By making me a cripple who can’t walk, someone who wears a wig and is ugly in real life, and is unable to read, and is cruel to his family and cruel to other people—he masterfully did it.”

Antonio is an artist. But perhaps canvass is not his greatest talent.

Others would admire his brush strokes—others like YouTube channels Stargods and Flat Earth Reset, or Dean Odle Ministries and Nathan Roberts with Flat Earth Doctrine, by trying to convince the world of their goodness, and at times godliness, and obsessing over her inhumanness, rather ironically, through the aboriginal testimony of Antonio’s ungodliness. Patricia Steere’s secreting penis needed put out in the same way firefighters band together to extinguish a fire. Then again, there was plenty of plagiarism to go around. Even before arriving in the UK, Eric Dubay liked to dress up as Patricia Steere. Eric would make fun of Mark Sargent, played by him. He would make fun of Math Powerland, played by him. He would make fun of Jeran, played by him, but dressing up as Patricia added other elements entirely to the underlining statement.  Antonio saw Dubay dressed like the woman he had hoped to marry one day and then concluded that he too should paint her as a man.

In turn—and only after Subirats grabbed onto Dubay’s bedroom fantasy—would Dubay seize onto the very lie that he had given life to in order to call her Patrick the Tranny. Eric Dubay, the very individual who helped to launch an entire Movement by claiming the globe lie is an elaborate attempt to hide our astral projection guides, and worse, who has referred to himself as the I Am, breached a far larger audience. His influences can be found everywhere on flat earth. “That’s just Eric looking around to find weapons on the floor, and he found one and used it. It could have been anything,” Patricia said. “But that’s one in which he found.”

Quite suddenly, it seemed like everyone started looking at Patricia Steere and seeing only a man. “I had to block and ban a lot of people. Even those who had attended my flat earth mixers in Houston, two of them came out and said she I a man. The first was a 250 pound woman who looked like a man. She was over 6 foot 2, someone whom I was very nice to, because she was nice and a flat earther, a former Jehovah’s Witness named Teresa, who has a lot of mental problems. She’s been raped, has had a lot of sexual abuse in her life, a lot of pain and agony, and has done videos about all of it, including her work with porn. She has lived a life of horror and sadness.” Patricia held multiple talks with Teresa over the phone, heart-to-heart conversations, “because I was trying to help her. She believes in a lot of things that people would consider quite odd, and is often susceptible.”

And then one day she turned.

“Something clicked in Teresa’s mind and she jumped on the tranny train.” Teresa took her claims to the YouTube community. The fact that she had attended Patricia’s critically panned vegan dinner delivered an extra dosage of lubrication to their own pleasure. Very likely, Teresa was looking to be acknowledged, more-so loved, by the internet. In turn, as these things often go, they acknowledged her words. It is truly an epidemic, how often humans confuse the two.

Teresa who…?

“One other guy named Jason Laufenberg came to both mixers in Austin, Texas. He professed to be a Christian. The first one, in 2016, he was invited as part of the 25.” A year later, “he’d already been making videos about me being an agent and being an antichrist and a demon, and a devil worshiper.” Let’s just say Jason Laufenberg was not invited. “He RSVP’d under the name Deceiver Destroyer, and I allowed that person to attend. But see, I just thought it was a flat earther who probably had Christian leanings, but I didn’t know it was him.”

Deceiver Destroyer arrived at her vegan meet-up, and then proceeded with a live broadcast. Deceiver Destroyer had the inside scoop. He had infiltrated Patricia Steere’s flat earth meet-up, and now it was quite certain in his mind. Brace yourselves. Patricia Steere is a man!  “Jason’s about six-four. He did a video of me standing next to him, five-seven in heels, saying I’m a man. It’s still on his channel.”

 His YouTube channel, by the way, is Awake Souls.

Moments before Laufenberg’s story of the decade, Patricia’s ex-boyfriend—his name is Michael, by the way—happened to be in the area. He texted her and asked what she was up to. When she told him about the flat earth mixer, he said he was just now passing that very restaurant. Naturally, Patricia invited him in. “There was plenty of food,” I said. “So he came in and sat down, ate foot, met my flat earth friends. And when he saw Jason saying I was a transgender, he told him that we had had a relationship for a multitude of years—and she’s not a man. Just look at her!

Laufenberg would have none of it. Because, after all, Deceiver Destroyer was an awakened soul, and the woken part needed told. “Jason left his wife over flat earth,” Patricia said. “His life is filled with tragedy and sadness.” With Subirats and Laufenberg and countless others, including those still to come, a consistent profile begins to emerge. Claims such as these have more to say about the person saying them than the person they’re pointing fingers at. “They’re all messed up inside. They all have broken hearts and broken minds and broken lives. So they hurt others.”

“I never had a transgender agenda. I don’t discuss LGBT. I don’t talk about gay pride. I don’t talk about transgender things. I basically don’t mention that. It doesn’t interest me.”

The ‘everyone is transgender’ banner, she said, is the modern day Satanic Panic.

The irony, I have come to learn, is that most of these perpetrators, while deeming themselves chivalrous towards the cause of God’s image bearers, are either so seared of conscious or morally depraved that they might very well look God into His face, if that is indeed humanly possible, and demand that He lift His garment as proof.

5

THE EVER-WIDENING CIRCLE OF MASTURBATORS

“BEFORE OUR INTERVIEW,” PATRICIA HAD TOLD ME from the outset, “I want you to watch this video.” She texted me the link to a YouTube channel called Stargods, adding, “Read the comments. And then we’ll talk.”

We hung up and I did as she asked. The video had only recently been released within the last few days, but it was immediately clear that Patricia had wasted little time in introducing me to the feculence of the human tongue. Ten minutes later I was weary of the junk food; the fact that this was simply the latest in a protracted series of many, and our interview hadn’t even begun. So I dialed her number again, and without so much as saying hello, Patricia continued right back into our conversation. “His reasons for my leaving—they’re all laughable and untrue, and the comments which were written below by people, none of those people were really people that I knew. And yet they’re saying things like, ‘She was caught making false rape accusations.’”

And lest we forget—

Patricia Steere is into bestiality.

When Patricia Steere’s cats purr it makes her cum.

Come on, everybody, let’s call him Pat.

Pat! Pat! Pat!

“My cats make me cum…? I never said anything like that. I never talk about sexuality. Even after telling you that, it just makes me feel, ugh. I wish I could erase it. It’s just not my personality to speak like that. It’s not how I was brought up. I don’t talk about sex. I don’t. I’m not a nun, but I’m very private. And for people to be saying these things, it’s not the society which I have crafted my world to reflect.”

 “The only time I had ever experienced bullying in my life was when I was a thirteen year old girl and I was just trying to find my way around school as a kid. When I came home crying my mother would say, they’re jealous of you. And I thought, that’s nice of you to say Mom, but that’s not going to help me. Don’t worry about it. You know who you are. You know you’re intelligent. You know you’re beautiful. And everything will be fine. And it was.” At Cooper City High School, “I was voted into to the homecoming court. That was 1980. Back then I was modeling, and had won several beauty pageants. So, not that that’s anything to brag about, but what I’m saying is, a couple of years bullying when you’re a young girl, when you’re growing from a girl into womanhood, it’s to be expected. You can deal with it. People and parents know how to help you deal with that. But when it came to adult bullying by people I’d never met in person, who knew nothing of my motivations or my life, didn’t know how I lived, didn’t know where I lived, didn’t know anything, but decided anyway to create the most fanciful, laughable, downright disgusting stories about me—it blindsided me. But throughout it, I held my head up, just as my mother had told me, with a smile on my face and a positive attitude.

“I never cracked on a video. I never cried. I never made accusations. I never made a hit piece video against anybody. I never spoke out against my accusers. I continued on with flat earth. I might have made a side comment if I was doing a show with Mark Sargent and he brought up the latest Eric Dubay video. I might make a comment like, Yeah, well; he likes to dress up as me. Eric did several videos like that. But I didn’t bring drama to my channel.”

Melissa Click, an assistant professor of communications at Gonzaga University and author of Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, has stated that social media makes the anti-fan experience more intense. Even more-so, it empowers individuals to seek out and recognize others who feel the same way. Or perhaps the order is reversed, which makes the entire process sick and circular. Either way, the individual does not need to wander very far online “and see that thousands of people hate something, and it becomes something [they] want to focus on” and talk to others about. They will even become “more emboldened to reach out to the celebrity at the center” of the drama, because finally, they don’t have to feel alone. “It’s almost like the person becomes a symbol,” Click said, “and then you get to feel good about being part of a group that knows.”

Patricia Steere is bad. But we’re not like her. We’re different. We’re righteous.

And let’s face it. The flat earth Movement is a YouTube phenomenon—reality television. It’s literally a genre, containing genres within the genre, for late night binging. Characters are created. Does anybody else remember Flat Earth Asshole before he left the Movement to become Jake the Asshole? His very name, in either embodiment, assumes a certain—how do you say it?—personality. Stories need played out. Drama will suffice, but the fantasy embedded with slander is preferable. And where the script is concerned, subscribers often act as its informant. Viewers often have a difficult time distinguishing between pretend characters and real people. Characters are played. People bleed. Did Flat Earth Asshole bleed? It’s hard to tell. How about his real life counterpart Jake Gibson? Ask his mother.

Patricia Steere is a real person. She feels pain. She bleeds.

Once she even cried STOP! And she had a urinary tract infection to prove it.

Apparently, not everyone is aware of that, or cares to be. Upon learning that I was writing this article, not only on the cyber bullying, public shaming, and sexual humiliation of Patricia Steere, but more pointedly on the profile of her instigators, one such person—he studied at Providence College and Theological Seminary, we’ll call him John—mocked the very notion on my social media page. He insisted that “40 year old’s cannot be the victim of online bullying,” adding “LOL” to strengthen the cause of his case.

The modern phenomenon of fandom often takes on a dual nature. Those who fixate passionately on the artifact or subject of their devotion will often focus on those who differentiate or diverge from their preferred vision. You know, GEORGE LUCAS RAPED MY CHILDHOOD! Wait, scratch that. What I meant to say was, PATRICIA STEERE RUINED FLAT EARTH! Her wig is about as genuine as a NASA rocket launch. “That is what anti-fandom’s about,” Click said, “Taking a TV show you like and establishing what it is about the show that you like or what character you like is automatically positioning you against something else.”

Click initially wrote her PhD dissertation on Martha Stewart fans after she began noticing a trend. And this was before Stewart was tried and convicted, sentenced to prison. Women loved Martha Stewart. More so, they loved to watch Martha Stewart. But even more specifically, they loved to talk about all the things they hated about Martha Stewart. And yet, they needed Martha Stewart in their lives.

They needed the hate.

They hated how she cooked. They hate the clothes she wore while she cooked. They hated how she talked while she cooked. They hated her latest hairstyle since the last time she cooked. And perhaps most importantly of all, they hated her drive to be perfect while she cooked. This, Click thought; coming from women who were obsessed over the rejuvenated culture of housework.

“Fandom and anti-fandom live together,” Click said. It’s the growing reality of our world, in every franchise, genre, political forum, and probably human subculture. “If you love something intensely,” like cooking and housekeeping, “and then the story takes a turn that you don’t like,” like the way Martha Stewart dresses or speaks, “that intense love is what shapes how mad you are about it.”

While writing this article I was contacted by YouTuber Flat Earth Reset, one of Patricia’s notorious tormentors, inquiring as to why I would possibly want to take up such an endeavor. I returned what I hope was a kind and informative reply.

Flat Earth Reset then responded. He wrote:

“The way I see it, Patricia only has herself to blame. The idea that a pompous eccentric far left extremist millionaire can come into flat earth the way she did, pushing her piss drinking vegan lifestyle down everyone’s throat without hate and backlash is at best laughable… It just shows you how out of touch she is as she parades around MSM and the community pretending to be the voice and leader of the flat earth. And just like the far left zealot she is, [she’s] crying foul at the criticism and hate she set herself up for. The Moral of the story is, don’t come to flat earth and place yourself on a pedestal and flaunt your extravagant pompous millionaire lifestyle pretending to be one of 99 percent.”

I then thanked him for expressing his opinion, adding, “It’s helpful to hear varying opinions and I think you expressed your position well.”

Patricia’s New Orleans boutique, particularly her sartorial view of the world, echoes in Flat Earth Reset‘s disdain for her. If Flat Earth Reset and others like him are successful in their coup—if they do indeed hit the restart button, what then? Must we deal with an administration of even greater corruption? “For the record, he’s the one who did the video having my home shown online,” Patricia reminded me, after we discussed my interaction, “including my address, and a video taken from the realtors site showing what it looks like inside and out and said I don’t own it and Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes isn’t me, it’s some company called Metatron. Funny thing is, I still live in this house, even if my channel was taken down. Therefore why isn’t Metatron kicking me out?”

While much is being analyzed of social media and reality television, both of which share notable features, even on a cultural level we can glean common threads throughout. For one, producers and marketers have taken note that the most popular hours of television often receive the largest uptick in angry social media comments—which would seem odd, if viewers were only investing their time in personalities and content which they actually enjoyed liking. The profile of these sorts however is often the same. He or she is likely someone who mismanages their time well rather than managing to improve upon it. They seek obstacles to blame, and in doing so fixate upon negative people and the potential for crashes, rather than from those who might inspire them to succeed, therefore becoming the solution to the perceived blockade.

Furthermore, such a person inhabits a lifestyle which is more akin to a strange blend of eroticism and intellectual masturbation. By inferring to this sort of self-flagellation, I am not simply describing the sort of soul who obsessively shakes his head at the person on the screen before him in order that he need not improve upon his life. More precisely, he pleases his acumen at the personal cost of another, often letting his fellow intellectual masturbators in on the ceremony. In turn this may even ascend to a kind of academic voyeurism, whereas they can freely seek to fill their impoverished hunger by collectively undressing and ultimately relishing in the humiliation of anyone other than themselves or idea other than their own so that, once again, they needn’t improve upon their own lives. The problem of the world is with others, not themselves. Essentially, they are often the opposite of the sort who is proactive in personal enrichment, self-improvement, and financial success.

Either the members of the flat earth community must decide whether they will take the knowledge laid out before them, something as simple as the fact that the surface of water always remains level,  and blame others for hiding it from us, or they will take the far greater though certainly narrower road. Will this be the sort of awakening in which we blame others for the current circumstances that we find ourselves in or, in light of the knowledge that we’ve fallen short from the glory of a holy God, that we’ve settled for chalkboard equations and augmented reality rather than the natural sensibilities laid out before us, Testified by God, will we point the finger back upon ourselves and digest our own willful participation in adulterous Babylon? We have ourselves to blame.

When Patricia offered flat earthist Pastor Dean Odle into our conversation as one who would join the ever widening circle of accusers, it was immediately clear that she hadn’t thought about him often. For one, she pronounced his name O-dell, and seemed to refer to him in passing as nothing more than a southern preacher whom she’d crossed path with. “I met him at the flat earth conference. We shook hands. And then I subscribed to his channel.” And that was that.

And then one day Patricia bought a Maleficent costume from Party City. She wore it for a Halloween episode of Hot Potatoes. The self-proclaiming prophet from Opelika had all the proof he needed. “He basically screen grabs this photo of me waring a costume on my show and says, ‘THERE SHE IS—SHE’S A SATANIST!’”

Odle was exacerbated that a witch would read from the Bible on her show, or as he put it, “How dare that witch take any of those words in her mouth,” and then proceeded to mock the way she pronounced Ephesians.

And then he called her Pat.

He’s a witch, and his name is Pat.

Why a Christian pastor would publicly slap Patricia around and then kick her into the gutter for the chuckles of his congregation, when she had been taking an interest in the faith, when she had been conducting insightful conversations with select members of the community whom she feels comfortable confiding in, asking questions—she simply couldn’t understand any of it.

The attacks deeply hurt.

But it gave him the ratings he was after. And the sort of audience which promises to stroke his ego. Flat earthists tuned in for the drama, and Odle relished in it. “All he was doing was repeating the same nonsense from other guys on YouTube like Antonio or Eric Dubay or Jason Lofgren,” a rapist and an occultist and a guy named Deceiver Destroyer. “It’s just repeated nonsense put into a blender with more nonsense added in. In fact, if they would lay out a list of the things I’m being accused of, some of the things would be impossible to occur. You can’t be this plus that. And Dean O-dell is saying I’m a Satanist—why? I don’t talk about black magic or Wiccan things, because I don’t know anything about that. Nothing I do would lead someone sane to think that. Why does he say I rule my life by astrology? I don’t. I never said I did. I don’t discuss astrology. I interviewed one flat earther who was an astrologer. I’ve interviewed flat earthers of all persuasions. I don’t talk about the devil. I don’t throw up the devil horns.”

Rather than insinuating that she is a secret member of a coven, what the self-proclaimed prophet from Opelika might consider doing a better job of clarifying is that she has participated in sub-cultural activities, something as simple as wearing a costume, which Scripture does indeed deem, in its ultimate application, as witchcraft. He has repeatedly accused Jodi Sloan, the woman who runs the Dean Odle Ministry is a Fraud page, of being a witch solely based on the rumor, and from the very individual who introduced the two, rather ironically, that she has read Harry Potter. Oh, the scandal. By that same logic, I once read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and more, and should also be labeled a witch. In fact, if Pastor Dean Olde has ever watched the movies by which Tolkien’s books are based upon, not to mention Star Wars, The Matrix, let’s just throw Disney’s Pinocchio or MGM’s The Wizard of Oz into the mix while we’re at it, even doing so little as to promote them in passing, then he too should treat himself and the members of his congregation in like manner. He is a witch. In fact, they all are. Choose your weapon, staff or wand or lightsaber, pointy hat and green skin or pink dress, wish upon a star or commune with a force ghost, it’s all the same. This is completely different however than the picture in which he paints. By dressing herself up as the villain from Sleeping Beauty, an action which my readers will likely note that I do not promote, she is in no way outing herself as a witch. She is outing herself as a woman, created in God’s image, who is also of a different opinion and a sinner in need of the Savior.

I decided to write Pastor Dean Odle a short letter asking for comment. It was my very first correspondence with him since turning down an invitation to speak at his Skyfall conference in 2018, which in turn sent him spiraling into one of numerous online meltdowns. Rather than responding privately, and let’s face it, nobody who knew I’d written him thought he would, Odle exploded on camera again. Seeking ratings…? Probably. Entertainment…? Isn’t that what members of his online congregation subscribed for? This is how YouTube channels are built.

“Do you think they didn’t plan this?” Odle told his online congregation. “This is planned. This is planned. This is a strategic move to try to demonize or make me and Nathan Roberts and other Christians look bad and to gain sympathy. Oh, poor pitiful me. The poor woman couldn’t take the heat of online war…. This is a stunt…This is what the plan was all along. You know, for her to draw back and, ‘Oh, Pastor Dean and these other Christians, they just bullied me so much by, you know, talking about me drinking my pee and making sure I found a clean cup to pee in.’”

Without so much as writing this article yet, Odle began his campaign of damage control in the only possible way he knows how—by creating more wreckage. His response was essentially a two hour rant in which he accused the most prominent Christian movers and shakers of the flat earth Movement, all of whom he’s burned bridges with, as being a secret cabal of Satanists bent on turning people away from flat earth’s only true voice. Odle went on to say, “Noel is a demon, he’s a devil, he’s a deceiver, a liar, a false teacher, a blasphemer and these are who Rob Skiba and Robbie Davidson and Patricia Steere and Mark Sargent want to do their PR for them. It’s pathetic. If you can’t see through this, you are blind.”

Patricia and I discussed some of what was said in Odle’s own take on the shot over the bow genre, and she made a point of comparing similarities between the two. Much like Antonio Subirats’ Psychopath of Flat Earth initiative,“What he’s doing is essentially no different.” Odle was projecting himself onto me and anyone else who has stood against Patricia’s tormentors, Rob Skiba, Robbie Davidson, and Rick Hummer being three of them, just as Subirats had once done to Patricia, and Weiss and Chess and Liedtke, and even now at this very hour continues to do so. The Subirats and the Odle’s of this world live in fear, but not simply because they’ve taken paranoia to unfathomable levels. They’re afraid of being perceived for whom or what they truly are, and here’s the spoiler, the MONSTER at the end of the story is who they truly were all along. Rather than taking responsibility for his online campaign of slander, Odle told his online congregation that we would have her “commit suicide” in order to make him look bad.

“You should put that in there,” Patricia said.

“I will.”

Patricia said, “For those who are in on this,” that is, the merciless gauntlet of bullying, sexual harassment, and public shaming that has paddled her community life in bruised colors of purple and red, “the following things must occur. Fear, paranoia, jealousy, and a lack of personal power, where they feel the world spinning out of control and there’s nothing they can do about it, so if they just point at the bad things, that’s going to give them something to steady themselves. So at first I shrugged it off, because I knew the internet is filled with different people of different personalities, and from different walks of life, many of whom aren’t happy. I was projected as being a miserable human being. But it wasn’t exemplified by anything I said or did. It was just created in their own heads and projected onto me because maybe they’re miserable human beings. They’re not happy with their job, their husband, their wife, their children, their economic status, or even their own look, and they will find a target, and they will lash out, because it gives them a temporary feeling that they’re better than somebody—doing better than somebody else.”

What it’s become, Patricia stressed, is “a literal witch-hunt.”

Patricia then brought flat earthist Nathan Roberts into our discussion, someone whom she had little to no memory of except for the fact that they’d also met at the Flat Earth International Conference, though she couldn’t quite recall which one. It was Denver, I said. Yes, he even spoke at it, she seemed to recall, had he not? Indeed, he did. Patricia only seemed to shake her head. Roberts had been brought into the community. Why then had he turned on her in as little as a few months by regurgitating the same hurtful words of her rapist?

Probably because the well is poisoned, I said.

Pat! Pat! Pat!

When Roberts first began his attacks on Patricia in the spring of 2019, his potential low point being a video whereby he sang Dude Is a Gun into the very screen that so often hugs his face, my brief albeit memorable interaction with him online came with a plea that he recognize Dean Odle is manipulating him into a dead-end path. His only reply was to insist I am somehow receiving money under the table by the government. He was publicly humiliating Patricia and his only conclusion, if I opposed his adolescent misbehavior and sexual shaming, is that I must be numbered among a well-financed, or pocketed to say the least, cabal of Satanists. Not long thereafter, Roberts uploaded a video titled “Torah Observers Practice Animal Sacrifice (Passover),” whereas he pulled video footage of a Torah observant couple who discussed killing livestock, a lamb, for consumption during the Biblical Passover meal, and publicly humiliated them for it. More-so, he displayed his impoverished understanding of Scripture by inferring for his audience that killing an animal to eat it, rather than buying it from the butcher, and observing a Scriptural feast day as Jesus had done was akin to substituting Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.

It came with an exhaustive sigh, my decision to once more approach him online, but Roberts was publicly shaming a married couple who are personal friends of mine. His response was two-fold. One, that those who observe Passover should castrate themselves, and two, that I should videotape myself preforming animal sacrifices in my backyard so that he can display it for his audience. His entire worldview is a floodwater of fear and paranoia. It is truly difficult holding an adult conversation with most of Patricia’s accusers, but Nathan Roberts tops that list.

Regardless, after speaking with Patricia, I too wrote Roberts a letter with another commemorative sigh, asking for comment. Roberts quickly responded, and in only one sentence, which read: “I’ll never forget that time you wrote that I was thrown from a hotel.” He was of course referring to an incident in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the spring of 2018, whereby he was removed from a young-earth creationist conference for exhibiting a public display of emotionally stunted growth, which I covered in my article, The Cult of Dean Odle.

To this I responded:

Rather than diverting, I think what people would like to see from you in this article is something that rises above apathy, something that expresses a sense of responsibility for your words and actions, perhaps even a sense of remorse. Patricia Steere is a real person. She hurts. What you did to her really hurt. She’s a lost soul who desperately needs Jesus, and rather than speaking into her life, you treated her like a whore. People would like to see that you recognize your part in this.

Shalom,

Noel J. Hadley

I had asked him to please take a few minutes to think his answer over and choose his words wisely. Roberts responded with the same misguided deductive reasoning, paired with a regurgitated and toxic display of paranoia, which has dominated our every encounter. He fixated upon my household, particularly my four year-old twin sons, all of which I regularly photograph and upload online, and then perversely projected, or rather, abnormally spoke from the abundances of his heart.

In yet another simple one-sentence response, Roberts summed up the cancerous paranoia which girdles his worldview when he asked:

 “Curious, do you make your children drink their urine or your urine, or do you mix the 2?”

Upon learning that Patricia had terminated her entire catalog of social media accounts, Nathan Roberts displayed a photo of Patricia dressed in her critically panned Maleficent costume, having repeatedly typed the word Pat onto his keyboard as some sort of subliminal messaging, while playing a selection from the soundtrack to MGM’s The Wizard of Oz, which ironically promotes witchcraft.

DING-DONG! THE WITCH IS DEAD.

My only consolation is that he didn’t sing it this time.

4

STUPID SILLY BITCH

“SO, YOU’RE CHANNEL’S PERMANENTLY DELETED,” I inquired.

“I didn’t simply pause my channel,” she said. “I thought about doing that. I thought about leaving the interviews. But I decided to get rid of my channel in one swoop, because I was done. I knew if I just left it hanging there that there would always be a temptation to come back.”

“So it’s gone-gone, everything,” I asked.

“It’s gone, I don’t want it back. The interviews in some cases still exist, because some of the people—I welcomed anyone I interviewed to take that interview and put it on their own channel.”

 I said, “And you’re not planning to come back. Is this it?”

“I haven’t talked to anybody else about this,” Patricia sighed. “And I told myself I wouldn’t talk. But yes, this is it. This is the one time tell all.” There was a very long pause, and then, “I enjoyed doing what I did. I loved it, in fact. I loved the interaction. I loved the sense of purpose. I loved the passion. And I loved sharing that with other people and feeling theirs.” This was followed by another pause. Affliction filled the empty spaces. And then, “The incredible amount of bullying I received right at the start was never expected. I expected to be belittled and maybe even bullied by people who believed in the globe earth and thought I was quote stupid, unquote, and would probably say things to me like, ‘don’t procreate, drink bleach and die, stupid silly bitch,’ and things like that. And did I get some things like that? Sure. It didn’t bother me in the slightest, because I know I’m not a stupid silly bitch. I knew what I was talking about is truth.”

But when it came from flat earthists…

“I think by taking my channel down I’ve made a strong statement, and I know people think that statement is the CIA made her quit after she did her job trying to ruin flat earth, or something like that. I simply don’t want to be part of the community. I’ve been to the conferences, and I loved being there, and I’m very grateful to Robbie Davidson for including me, but then videos would be made dissecting what I was wearing.

Who does Patricia Steere think she is wearing that outfit?

Who does Patricia Steere think she is—a queen, a princess?

Look at Patricia Steere! It looks like she just got butt implants!

Just look at her, that’s her fifth face lift!

“I don’t have butt implants or a facelift, by the way. I went to the conference and did an award show and wore an evening gown and my co-host wore a tux.” Who does she think she is? “It was for an awards show that I created, called the Flatty Awards. Heaven forbid I spread the love to other people, and award people for doing fantastic things in a newly growing community, where I thought pats on the back, and attaboy and attagirl would make people smile and be happy.”

Stupid silly bitch

“The problem with flat earth is lack of kindness, love and consideration for others. There’s paranoia and a spirit of accusation. People are afraid to speak up. Having each other’s back doesn’t happen much. People look the other way because bullies attack when they try,” which only encourages more bullying. And the others, they have a habit of showing up to “feast on the drama.” Scandal, gossip, lies. That’s what gets hits, public floggings. You know—the ever widening circle of intellectual masturbation. Bigger the channel, all the more masturbators who show up with their ski masks on. If you want to rake in subscribers, “using another YouTubers picture in the thumbnail, that’s what gets you popular on YouTube. It’s a dirty little secret. And it works. Not just in Flat Earth, and not just about flat earth, but everywhere—it works. How many videos are there out there about Rob Skiba? This is just what people do. Antonio figured the formula out.”

And how many, I wonder, piggy-backed off of him? YouTube providers, along with their arsenal of commenters, are perhaps too vast to number.

Although it is true that she met some wonderful individuals in the flat earth community, and “they know who they are, I’ll always be a flat earther. I just want nothing to do with the flat earth community. The transgender accusations and the lack of people standing up for me; not censuring Antonio right away—that was the worst part.” It wore at her, whittled her down little by little, until one day there was so little left to give that she simply quit. “I learned that the community eats its own and then asks for seconds. No, I’ve cut everything off.” Skype contacts, gone. G-mail, with its thousands of addresses, gone. The plug is pulled. “My regular life friends and associates have my personal e-mail, but very few flat earthers have it.”

Even the flat earth license plate on her car “will be removed very soon,” she assured me, “as soon as the new one comes in the mail.”

The sense of relief which she felt, once the plug was pulled, cannot be overstated. I can only imagine. There are days in which I have relished in my own retirement. Patricia Steere finds herself playing with the cats, or going outside to cut flowers from her lawn, or to the organic grocery store for her food, even sitting down for dinner with friends, just as she has for entire tenure in the movement, only now she strangely feels happy again. And I can already hear the online chatter, can you?

If Pat quit, he was never a real truther to begin with.

There is no one to bully her while taking a walk at the park or going out for coffee. There’s no one to bully her in real life. She is pleasant with people, real people, and in turn they are pleasant with her. And soon, very soon, she’s leaving for Paris to visit a girlfriend. “The world of the internet hate died when I got out of the internet,” she assured me. “And that’s why I’m never coming back.”

“They hurt me, but they also didn’t hurt me, because there are two sides of me. There’s the Patricia that, when you cut, I bleed. But then there’s the Patricia that understands, they’re only hurting you because they hate you. Ignore it, move on. So I was always hurt by the people who said I had a penis, or hurt because they said they saw my five o’clock shadow, or that they could see my penis in my dress, or that my penis was cut off, or that I was a CIA agent here to destroy flat earth, when I knew I was using my skillset as a former radio broadcaster who likes communicating others, to use that to help. I knew I was no good at experiments. That’s not my thing. Photographing the moon or long distance photography, that’s not my thing either. I’m not a technical person. But I like communicating, and learning. And I thought that’s what I could bring to the table. And a lot of the haters, they watched my channel. That’s probably the channel where they first met the fill in the blank YouTuber who they’re still following now, because I interviewed that person. And yet they still hate me. Why—because I’m older and still try to keep up my physical appearance?”

In a truther Movement, where those who enter augmented reality with their masks on to accuse thumbnail faces of impiety while privately hiding their indiscretions, Patricia laid all of cards on the table. She was too fashionable, too beautiful, too old, too talented, too financially secure, too available, too indiscriminate, too convenient, too trusting, too gullible, too easily construed, and the letters of her name too suspicious (Pat would suffice). She was a little too much of everything. But in an online community, where equal employment opportunities need not apply, and the disease of male chauvinism often goes undiagnosed, definitely untreated, Patricia was simply too woman for the office of broadcasting that she claimed.

“I am Patricia Lynn Steere and all that it means. I am not a man. I never have been a man. I’m not a Satanist. I do not participate in witchcraft. And I don’t do anything to hurt people behind the scenes—no one. I don’t regret being involved with flat earth and don’t regret leaving it. I’m never looking back.”

Patricia Steere fled those who believed the flattened earth belonged only to them while hating the Christians inhabiting it and then, from the opposite swing of the pendulum, she fled the Christians who believed the flattened earth belonged only to them and therefore hated those who would not promote the cause of the cross—or their version of it. Patricia chose the middle of the road and, as anybody knows, everyone hates the middle aisle. Her message has fallen on deaf ears, and even now will undoubtedly fall on them. To those standing before the pyre, clutching the torch in their fingertips with such wide-eyed ferocity as to dig their fingernails back into their own blood, she will always have a hidden witch agenda needing exposed and a bitch complex for the smacking, and most importantly of all, a cock to burn.

That’s why “I just got tired of it and quit. It’s why I slipped away without any explanation, because I didn’t want any more drama. Flat earth isn’t about Patricia Steere. It’s about the lie of the shape of the land we’re standing on and about the spiritual world, God, and creation, and our role in it. And if they want to make it about Patricia Steere, about how she’s ugly, or a man, or she’s stupid, they can do it now. But it’s going to lose a lot of punch, because Patricia Steere isn’t there anymore. And those good people I met in flat earth, even if I cut contact with them because I left to preserve my sanity, they know I value, love, and appreciate them.”

“And those who attacked me, I forgive them. They know not what they do.”

“I’m still a flat earther, and I have to say that very strongly. I’m just not part of the flat earth community, because the community part,” the very community which she had aspired to create, “doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion.”

Before hanging up the phone, Patricia paused once more to gaze over her shoulder, into the cold purple twilight, into the labyrinth of mirrors, the community—the madhouse. She recollected that time, as if pulling it randomly from a hat, when rumors persisted that she and Mark Sargent and David Weiss were having a three-way. Patricia sighed, and from the other end of my receiver seemed to shake her head.

She said, “Everything beautiful got turned into something ugly.”

3

WE ALWAYS HAD BEHIND THE CURVE

MARK SARGENT CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES. As soon as Robbie Davidson announced to his conference speakers that YouTube celebrity Logan Paul was making a surprise appearance at his second annual Flat Earth International Conference in Denver, Colorado, Sargent saw the punchline on the horizon and promptly left. “Mark was crestfallen,” Patricia said. “He was deeply offended that a person who mocked a suicide in a forest in Japan two years ago was allowed on stage at the conference.” Sargent simply walked away from the conference, telling nobody, including his co-host.

It would take the internet for Patricia Steere to figure it out.

“Mark jokingly said if Robbie had Logan on stage before him he’d kill himself.  He didn’t seem that mad. He was joking. We all were. Some didn’t know who Logan Paul was and I played them a video on my phone as we sat around the table.” Suffice to say that Robbie’s flat earth conference speakers were not pleased. “Some of us thought ‘Ugh. I wish it were someone better.’ And others thought, ‘Well maybe it will get more young people into flat earth.’ We joked about it. None of us were happy about it but we weren’t angry either.”

This will perhaps come as a surprise among many of Patricia’s closest confidants, that the dream which had become a reality only one year earlier would suddenly crumble now, and that the actual crumbling would involve, in part, a falling out with Mark Sargent.

“We were supposedly close friends. Best friends. We had a panel show to host. We had the third Flatty Awards to host, which I’d started on my channel to honor various YouTubers for their great work in various categories. Everyone was scrambling to fill his place as a speaker. I didn’t even know where the winners’ names were. Mark had them. I had the empty golden envelopes to stuff them with. We were all confused.”

For Patricia, Sargent’s protest would show a division in the community. It would be food for those who continually express hatred for the conferences and their speakers. Think of the speakers. They would become vulnerable for attack. But then think of those who paid to attend. “He left everyone in the lurch. I told him people had paid money to see him. I told him people had flown or had driven. They’d gotten baby sitters and pet sitters. I told him, in my opinion, regardless of his dislike of Logan Paul, we needed to respect and honor the attendees and speakers and besides, Logan Paul would only be on for a few minutes. It wasn’t a big deal.”

Sargent did not agree. And for this reason, a heated argument ensued between them—first by phone, and as the days followed, by e-mail. He said she didn’t understand. She couldn’t possibly understand. Patricia countered his sentiment. It is Sargent, she countered, who didn’t understand. Community comes before the self. “I said, ‘Logan was in his early twenties and just a fame hungry person; that we should look beyond that; that no matter what Logan does, we as a community should be kind, welcoming, and unified by all being here, even if we individually aren’t happy about him being here. Anyone can come out as a flat earther, and we have no control over that. We cannot be gatekeepers of who steps up and expresses interest in the topic. It’s open to everyone.’”

When Patricia asked why he didn’t bother to let her in on his decision, Sargent rebuffed, she would have tried to talk him out of it.

“Indeed I would have,” Patricia.

“The minute he touched down in Seattle and got home to Whidbey Island he started a campaign of slamming Robbie and Logan Paul. People on YouTube started taking sides.” Division was everywhere. “Mark was being applauded by those who expressed dislike for him in the past because those people disliked the conferences more then they disliked Mark. They strategically used this situation to drive a wedge in and widen the gap. It was horrible, unnecessary, and so surprising. Mark went on other people’s channels to do this, continually mentioning his hatred for Logan Paul and how he should be killed.”

 “Mark left the conference without telling me or anybody. He and I had several appearances to do on stage together, and he just left me hanging without telling me. So that put a serious dent in our relationship.” Anyways, it wasn’t the first time, in her words, that she felt as though their bond of teamwork had been violated by him. It wasn’t the first time Sargent had vanished due to community disagreement—that he’d gone dark. Professionally speaking, Steere has always been a team player. The community came first, the personality second. “He felt he had good reasons to do so and it was nothing against me. He didn’t do it to hurt me. He was just doing it from his perspective. He thought it was the best thing for him to do. But I did feel hurt by it—and let down.”

“After that, things weren’t good between us. I felt abandoned. Everyone assumed I’d known he’d left, because we were a team—or so I assumed. I decided after talking with Mark privately to stop doing shows with him. I never discussed the situation on my channel—or Mark. I just went forward, interviewing other flat earthers.”

The show must go on.

Several months later Patricia retracted her decision by agreeing to appear on a group show with Sargent. “Mark and I reconnected through that, Rob Skiba’s show. I thought it was best for the community, but our relationship was never the same.” Truth is, “Mark and I have drifted apart as the years have gone by. And I don’t see that relationship as being one in which I wish to carry on in the future.”

Even pronouncing the syllables of her emotions seemed to bite at the very words which pronounced them and sting. My eyes suddenly felt heavy—and wet. I suspected hers did too. And I tried, I really did, to not let her hear me stumbling over my own breath as she shattered my own preconceived notions and trudged on: “Mark was a huge part in my awakening, and I truly appreciate his videos, and I did lots of shows with him and had a lot of fun. We were both in Behind the Curve together, and we’ve been on many trips together in different countries and different states, doing things involving flat earth, and that was great too, but the having your back element of a true friend was missing.”

At 56 years of age, something which she made a point of noting, Patricia paused to consider the future prospects of her dating life. She had wanted love and desired marriage, but in return received neither. She even wanted children of her own, if the other two would have proceeded in line. Only three years prior, when she enthusiastically boarded a plane for England, she couldn’t even imagine being in a relationship with a globe earther—someone, as she had earlier explained, who couldn’t make the jump into the community which she had hoped to nurture. But dating a flat earthist now means entangling herself back into the dark drama of a community which rejected her mothering. The often unthinkable, where community thinking is concerned, has once more become the thinkable. Patricia Steere will open herself up to someone who rejects everything that is deemed intimate regarding the shape of the earth.

Well, not everything.

Before coming to flat earth, Patricia Steere was an atheist of Darwinian design, perhaps an agnostic at best. But now that she’s moved on, Patricia said, “I can’t imagine being with an atheist. That’s never going to happen.”

 

2

LAST NIGHT ON EARTH

ON HER VERY LAST NIGHT IN THE FLAT EARTH, Patricia Steere was interviewing someone off air when a knock announced an unexpected visitor at the door. Her visitor, she quickly learned, was a police officer. “I let my guest talk and announced on air that it was a postal delivery.” The officer had followed through with a concern from an unidentified caller that Patricia Steere was mentally ill and needed a wellness check.

An individual named Mad Mike Hughes, who has recently made a name for himself in the MSM by building a homemade rocket and then finally managing to launch in a skyward direction, with his self-intact, in order to see the flat earth with his own eyes, had become convinced that Mark Sargent and Patricia Steere were agents working for a company named Metatron, rumors which had been spread by channels like Flat Earth Reset. In November of 2018, and at the second annual Flat Earth Conference in Denver, Colorado, of all places, Hughes went about boasting that he had registered Mark and Patricia’s names through the courts, all caps, in order that he might use their entities as his own. “I don’t understand how or why but somehow you can do that. Mad Mike Hughes owns my name, Patricia Lynn Steere.”

And now she was the joke of a prank caller.

It was, as they say, the final straw.

Patricia Lynn Steere pulled the plug on nearly 20,000 subscribers.

Hot Potatoes

1

THE END IS THE BEGINNING

FACT IS, THE CREATIONIST MOVEMENT of our daddy’s generation is no more. If the flat earth awakening should continue with its current momentum of growth, then the days of Dr. Henry Morris and ICR, when opposing worship leaders and pastors, either in favor of intelligent design and theistic evolution or young earth creationism, debated geological columns in the back of the church, are already behind us. The flat earth has touched upon the inspiration of men and women of multiple faiths, and from both spectrums alike, fundamentalist Christian and New Ager. For the six day creationist, such a concept was once unfathomable. Young earth creationism masked with the Copernican revolution, pointedly partnered with the Apollo missions, never inspired evolutionists and New Agers in such manner, atheists included. The debate has left the Sunday school room, where it has raged over the developing minds of children for the last fifty years, and has entered into the bare-knuckled streets. All who remain will delight in the echo chamber.

I have pointedly stated that the flat earth movement, in and of itself, is yet one more road of many which leads to Rome. That is, if we are simply expected to hold hands simply for the greater good. And yet, we are presented a witnessing opportunity like no other. It is difficult indeed imagining an event like this resurging in our lifetime again. For many, whatever shape of the earth they inhabit, and at the risk of sounding bipolar, they are on the road to Rome, inhabiting one sweat lodge or another. But that is not to say flat earth creationism is only relegated with a signpost to the Vatican. For many pilgrims traversing this lonely pathway, Hebrew cosmology is only a bi-product of something else entirely.

Not so, according to our friend John, who studied at Providence College and Theological Seminary. People who take part in such things as “piss-drinking, veganism, and other new-age mumbo jumbo” are simply derailing the flat earth truth. Such statements assume that God’s creation is neither habitable nor welcoming for everyone. Those who enter in through the community sheepfold may only do so if they adhere to a strict policy of religious dogma and political leanings—but who decides? What street corner soapbox will become the mandatory curriculum, by which we are expected to continue this conversation? If a soul must exhibit the production of good fruit before they can acknowledge the only truth worth spreading, that is, the divine plan and identity of our Creator, then a true Christian will recognize that no one can possibly enter.

So why condemn her? Why applaud those who cast Patricia into the street as a whore because she took part in a discussion about Urine Therapy with Antonio Subirats once, or because she simply had the indiscretion to buy a costume at Party City and wear it on YouTube? And then I can’t help but think back upon my own former life, that is, when considering something so simple as Patricia’s Sshh portrait in New Orleans, and finding symbols of occultism at play in that existence as well. I mean, birthday candles. They began in Babylon. If we arrive in the flat earth and fail to recognize our residency in Babylon, then what have we learned?

Understand, I am not writing any of this as Patricia’s apologist. She is a sinner like me. But she is also on a journey of discovery, just as we all are, or at least as many to most claim to be. The earth, whatever its shape, belongs to everyone. If I believe Patricia Steere’s journey of discovery, it is because I too am on a journey, and I believe myself. Patricia Steere makes no claims to the faith—not yet. For the Christian, the accusations against Patricia Steere exemplify the woman at the well, whom Jesus spoke to while a sinner, or perhaps more precisely, the woman whom the Pharisees and scholars of the Law flung before the feet of Jesus on accusations of adultery. If my Christian reader has found pleasure in the fact that Patricia has been heaved into the dirt; if they find arousal in her public flogging; if they look at her bruised hands and disheveled hair, at the wet of her eyes and the grubby stain of tears streaking down her cheeks and quip, It is by her own doing—if all she is to them is a whore, stripped of her very womanhood, then he or she must evaluate for themselves if they have actually yet to experience the real historical Jesus, or worse, if they’ve altogether rejected Him.

It took the flat earth for Patricia Steere to get her hands on a Bible again. But flat earth is a yard-for-yard battleground for back alleyways and street corners, where the various avenues of church denominations meets the downtown store fronts of doctrine, and often, among its most vicious of self-flagellators, it is best expressed in the willpower of Gestapo’s knocking from within the door of your home computer, demanding intellectual domination or else. The movement itself is, in many ways, an augmented reality where anyone sitting behind the key board and willing to make a name worth repeating is either suspect or apostate. For Patricia’s Christian accusers, her progress in digesting Scripture was too lackadaisical. Naturally, for the paranoid and power seekers, who felt their stationary world spinning out of control, that made her suspect—but mostly disposable.

Very early on in our interview, Patricia had spoken of flat earth as something spiritual, and I therefore wanted to grapple Patricia’s ideas of who she thought God was. Was He personable, capable of intimate relations, and could He take on suffering, or was He simply a Platonic unknowable, a personification of morality, an unchanging realm of ideals?

So I asked Patricia, Is God knowable?

Patricia paused. I detected a deep penetrating breath from the other end of her receiver. Her response then came with an honest confession. “I don’t personally know. I know people say he is. I’ve heard people speaking about having a personal relationship with God,” she spoke with a detectable measure of caution, and sadness, “but I’ve never experienced that. I don’t believe I’ve personally had a quote relationship with God in the way that some people explain they do, but I do and have, even as a child, prayed, before I went to bed. We had to say a prayer before we went to sleep. And we would say grace during holidays as a family. And I prayed and gave thanks for the great things in my life.”

“There is so much that needs to be found out about how the whole flat earth thing works when it comes to maps and models, and also the connection to the Creator, I don’t think we’ll ever find any of that out—all of those things, really. I don’t think we’ll ever get to the bottom of it. But what I realized coming into this, and as I’ve grown to learn, I knew I was on the right track.”

I asked her to clarify what she meant by not getting to the bottom of it.

She said, “I don’t think we can get to the bottom of how it all works—how the map, how the model, how the land works,” and specifically, “how it was made. We can’t do what Science would do. We can’t say, ‘Well, this blew up, and then blah, blah, blah.’ When it comes to Creation, a lot of it is taken on faith, or just the words, God spoke, and so if we were to scientifically break down the words God spoke, would that be sound created things? I don’t know. That’s just what I believe. We’re not going to be able to explain it the way you and I can sit around and explain how water molecules are heated up and water boils. There’s a lot of aspects to the way all of this works. Exactly what happens when you die? That’s a great mystery. Nobody knows. You can believe, but nobody really knows.”

“You know, it’s so weird when you look at me and what happened to me on YouTube. In my real life, I had a great life, and I’m still having a great life. I have so many beautiful people in my life, and I’ve had so many wonderful things happen in my life. I am what they would call blessed.”

Patricia then added, regarding the subject of her real life, “I find myself praying now every day.”

I then asked Patricia Steere what she thought of the Bible.

If Patricia will be remembered for anything in the twenty-first century flat earth movement, I truly hope that her careful considerations take precedence. Indeed, Patricia sparked a good many conversations, and then lent and ear to each and every one of them. She was always reading—always listening in—always seeking answers to her questions, and never shouting over anyone. She gave everyone a microphone. In a way, it was to her own undoing.

Regardless, residue of her flat earth residency likely remains in her answer.

She said, “I feel that the Bible is like a map or like a GPS. It’s up to you if you want to go off road, but the map slash GPS is tried and true and tested, and has the pathway to get you to where you want to go.” Patricia is undoubtedly referring to the fact that she spends her days now listening to the Bible while driving her car or cleaning the house and washing dishes. Patricia Steere is doing what Patricia Steere does best, seeking answers by sparking conversation, and then listening. “Whether or not you’re able to explain everything that happened in the Bible,” and she certainly has questions, “it will still get you to that same place, if you follow it.”

It is my personal hope that Patricia Steere can follow that GPS to its natural bearings. It is indeed a moral compass, an eternal Law and instructions in righteousness that we all fall short of daily. Indeed, I am guilty. Patricia is guilty. And so are you. My hope in writing is that one of her tormentors, if only one should at last discover Jesus, the real Jesus, extending a hand to the woman who is accused of whoredom. In writing this, I am implicated as one attempting to derail the truther Movement. But what is the point of inhabiting a flat earth which does not prompt us, with circumcised hearts, to clasp our hands together fervently and pray with all earnestness: “May Patricia believe! May Patricia believe! May Patricia discover the person of Jesus and believe!

Listen, can you hear it?

Patricia Steere is a Satanist and a witch.

His name is Pat, and he has a penis.

Even while we spoke on the phone, Patricia could hear the erotic groaning of her tormentors. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” she spoke in response to them, quoting Scripture, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

How dare that witch take any of those words in her mouth!

Her Christian tormentors have filled their skulls with such lewd imagery, cruelly convincing their soap box listeners to the same forgone conclusions, that they will likely have a difficult time wrapping what is left of their depraved minds around the fact that Patricia Steere has cut off communication from every citizen of flat earth, all but a significant few—namely, three.

Flat earthists Robbie Davidson, Rick Hummer, and Rob Skiba remain in her list of contacts. Patricia Steere pulled the plug on the cyber world and somehow they survived it. These are the three men whom she has chosen to pack in her carry-on as she ferries into the unending sunset of the real world. Despite all the online conversations she has sparked and then excitably listened in upon, there is something in these three men which she dutifully recognizes and simply cannot ignore. There is something, unlike the others, which drives them, which unifies them far beyond a common idea as to the shape of the earth. One might say the flat earth revelation is an added feature to another movement altogether, one far more ancient than any other. They may be trying to hide God, but these three men know who He is. They have a personal relationship with God. And far more importantly, something which her Christian tormenters continually fail to understand and which the flat earth community often chooses to ignore, they display it in their action.

Rick and Tabatha Hummer have continually spoken with Patricia, before and after her departure, encouraging her to read His Word, to look into the historical relevance of Scripture, its prophetic implications, and the relevance of His instructions in the world today. Patricia understands the hazards of speaking up on His true creation while exposing darkness, Rick Hummer told me, “and if she can only imagine the passion it takes to say to someone that He IS the only way. I’m not sure she’s there yet, and so on that note I do not bid her a farewell. The day Patty says, ‘I BELIEVE!’ is going to be a tearful day for many.”

Nowadays Patricia isn’t simply listening to the Bible. She’s reading it too.

I asked her, Whereabouts.

“I’m just now starting at the beginning,” she seemed to smile, “and working my way through.”

Thing is, flat earthist Patricia Steere is likely already familiar with the opening narrative. In the beginning, God created.

And then man destroyed it.

 

-Noel J. Hadley

Firmament Avenue Press, LLC