punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

How tolerant are you of "weird" beliefs?

Sunday we got to meet Shae (sp?), thedreamymoon's boyfriend. I liked him a lot. He's head of some pagan movement, and while he'd never really knew about science fiction conventions, he heard of them. He remarked "Wow, this sounds so familiar! Con politics are just like pagan politics!" Go figure :D. But we had some very intelligent discussion about pagan groups and covens.

Suppose you have a friend, let's say a best friend or someone really close who you've known for a long time, who decides to confide in you about a big secret he's been holding back: he's not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. No wait, then you'll all think it's the end of the world. Let me make up an example:

Your friend tells you that his backyard is populated by tiny winged elephants that only he can see. He goes in great detail about them, since they have a complex culture and social structure. They took up residence in his yard a few years ago, an speak to him by a secret language that only he can hear due to a rare childhood ear infection. And several times a week, they ask him to do things.

The majority things they ask him to do are pretty mundane and harmless, with the occasional odd request. For instance, they tell him what plants to put in his garden and where, which end up making the garden a hodge-podge of vegetables and flowers all mixed around. The also tell him that he cannot let any chairs face the south wall towards the garden, and that he shouldn't hang up any window crystals because the rainbows confuse them while flying and cause them to crash into things. Odd things include asking him to bake some pies and leave them outside, wrap one of his trees with pink cloth, and on the wooden deck, draw a series of crop circles in colored chalk, and replace them when they get washed away by the weather.

Other than that, there seems to be no danger to your friend's health or day-to-day activities. They don't ask him to do anything dangerous, he doesn't appear to be a member of any cult, he still has a professional job, dresses well, eats healthy, exercises, and is pretty friendly and doesn't give out that "crazy vibe." But now he thinks, since you now know, to bring up these mini flying elephants to you in private conversation, glad he finally has someone to talk to about them.

Poll #949783 Flying invisible fairy elephants tell your friend what to do

How would you respond to this oddball behavior?

Alarmed. Might even take action to cure him.
Concerned. Might try and figure out "what's really wrong."
Annoyed. There is no such thing as mini invisible talking flying elephants; what an idiot.
Nonchalant. Eh, whatever. Everybody's got something.
Interested. Oooh, tell me more! Do they eat the pie?
Other (specify in comments).

Followup: Do you think there is a direct correlation of how little someone blinks to whether they are a leader of a cult?

Yes. The crazier the cult leader, the less they blink.
No. Many cult leaders have a alien cyborg blinking simulation algorithm that foils this kind of detection.
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