Texan. Former president of the Flat Earth Society. Crackpot.
Born in San Angelo, Texas, on July 24, 1924, little is known about Charles Johnson's life prior to 1972. This was the year in which Johnson took up the reins as American president of the International Flat Earth Research Society (more commonly known as the Flat Earth Society).
Like many of his fellow flat-earthers, Johnson held the belief that scientists are more like witch doctors than anything else, and that they're part of a worldwide conspiracy to replace religion with science. His own ideas about the shape of the earth were based on Old Testament references to a flat earth as well as the New Testament notion that Jesus Christ ascended into heaven (the logic being that one cannot ascend from a sphere when you don't know which way is up).
Said Johnson in a Flat Earth Society flier (all spelling and grammatical errors are his):
I sometimes call myself the Last Iconclast. Science is a false religion, the opium of the masses. I myself count it as a begining of Sanity to confess 'the creation proves there was a Creator' so a God or Creator...Exists. From a life-time of study, of seeking out a proving things, from the study of 6,000 years of recorded history, from observation, from experience, from Common Sense Observation, have concluded the 10 Commandments are in fact good Laws of Living and Behavior for oneself and all in contact with you...truley 'Laws of Physics for Living.' That is my opinion. The Fact the Earth is Flat is not my opinion, it is a Proved Fact. Also demonstrated Sun and Moon are about 3,000 miles away are both 32 miles across. The Planets are 'tiny.' Sun and Moon do Move, earth does NOT move, whirl, spin or gyrate. Australians do NOT hang by their feet under the world...this is a FACT, not a theory!
The gist of Johnson's arguments (outside of Biblical references) was that people should trust their eyes and put more stock into "common sense." He was, of course, a believer in the Moon landing hoax as well. He commented at one time that his ideas were seen as so old-fashioned as to become new again, avant garde. "We're way ahead of the pack," he said.
In 1995, Johnson's life and the lives of many Flat Earth Society members took a saddening turn as his home burned to the ground. He lost everything -- personal items, the Flat Earth Society library, membership rolls -- all of it. He did manage to save his wife Marjory (an Australian who believed in the Flat Earth Theory because, yes, she did not hang from her toes while back home), but she wound up dying a few months later.
In 2001, at the age of 76, Johnson himself died in his sleep in his California home. His secretary, Jill Fear, vowed to carry on his work and continue to spread the idea that our earth is not a ball spinning in space, but is a flat disk lying still on primordial waters.
At any rate, the term iconoclast is certainly appropriate for the man. But the last iconoclast? I don't think so...we still have Lyndon LaRouche.