“All these things that they keep giving to us, all this information, I’m just saying that these things that used to put me in fear, it makes you not want to question it naturally, because of how much information you actually can figure out and how much information there actually is out there,” he added at the time. “It’s crazy. Anything that you have a particular question on, ‘Okay, is the Earth flat or round?’ I think you need to do research on it. It’s right in front of our faces.
"I’m telling you it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us.”
By January, Irving had softened his stance, saying, “For me, it’s not about whether the world is flat or whether the world is round. It’s really about just everyone just believing what they want to believe and feeling comfortable with it.”
However, that was too late for Irving to avoid being ridiculed for his decidedly unscientific notions. It was also too late for at least one middle-school teacher, who told NPR in July 2017 that, thanks to Irving, his students were of the opinion that he was “part of this larger conspiracy of being a round-Earther.”
After claiming in January that his flat-Earth advocacy had emerged from “watching a whole bunch of Instagram videos,” Irving spoke Monday of having wandered deep down a “rabbit hole” on YouTube.
“At the time I was, like, huge into conspiracies, and everybody’s been there,” Irving said. “At the time, you’re, like, innocent in it, but you realize the effect of the power of voice.
“And even if you believe in that, it’s like, just don’t come out and say that stuff. That’s for intimate conversations because perception, and how you’re perceived, it changes.”
“I’m actually a smart-a-- individual,” he continued. “It’s not like I was just going around saying that. At the time, I just didn’t realize the effect.
"I was definitely at that time like, ‘I’m a big conspiracy theorist! You can’t tell me anything!’ ”