One of the things that really surprised me is that every single person there believed every word he said without question. i think this is an important factor in christian education. For some reason, they will believe without question. In any science class, you will normally hear people ask questions because they may not understand or want more information. Not in this group. They did not question why something did or did not occur, they just believed.
Is that so surprising? That's what religions are about; belief without questioning. It's how they've been brought up, and as long as no one tells them that you don't have to belief in science because you can go out there and verify it for yourself, they won't change. Creationists often argue that science is just another PoV that also starts from untestable claims, and then go on to say that you may choose as you like, in which case people will likely go for the one that promises eternal life. I have yet to meet a creationist who actually represents science in the way it is. But they won't do that because people will then likely figure out that religion's claims simply don't make sense compared to claims that are actually based on reality.
He told me that it did not matter what he told them. He did not see it as lies. He 'knew' that the earth was 6000 years old and that evolution was false. He told me that as his views were the truth, it did not matter how he convinced others of it. I suggested that this was dishonest. He disagreed with me and said that as long as they came to the true faith, regardless of how this was achieved, he was being honest to the only one who mattered. That was god.
This is interesting. I do not doubt that many of the 'common believers' genuinely believe what they are told, simply because many of them lack the means to check what they are being told (and because they are continuously bombarded with warnings against Wikipedia, as the most obvious source for knowledge, being "secular" and "evil"), but I have always been wondering about those who spread the Creationist Word(TM). My impression was always that they know they are lying but still do it because it sells; it's their way to earn money (I often feel that for many creationists who write books and make documentaries etc., making money off gullible people is more important than the religious aspect). But what you write here suggests that your (former) friend is also trying very hard to deceive himself. Very interesting.