You think you know someone. You hang out with them. Exchange emails, jokes, anecdotes. Maybe you even work with them. One day, out of the blue, you discover they are fundamentalist Christians who think you are going to Hell. Or a hard-core right-wing Republican who voted for you-know-who. Maybe a conspiracy theorist or a proud believer in the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

fobidden planet poster

I lived in Jerusalem for almost 9 years. It probably should not be a big surprise that you meet a lot of people who are sure they are Jesus Christ come back to finish His work on Earth. One of them worked at the local pizza joint and seemed perfectly normal, until in the middle of a casual conversation, he would drop a bomb about his mission and there you were, transported to wacko central.

I had a casual friend who was a piano player. He sang and played at fancy hotel lounges, like the Hilton Hotel lounge. He was, like me, an American. So it was inevitable we would meet. I did his horoscope for him because in those days, I did horoscopes for an awful lot of people.

We struck up a chatty little relationship. One night, he called and invited me over. He had something important to tell me.

Important? Our relationship consisted of reminiscing about life in the U.S. in the 1960s — and then, there was his horoscope. I was (coincidentally) the astrology columnist and managing editor of a short-lived English-language weekly. Please, let’s not discuss astrology or my psychic abilities (or lack thereof). You don’t want to know and I don’t want to tell you.

Having nothing better to do at the time, I walked over to his house (just around the corner) and we got to talking. Suddenly, I knew. He was going to tell me one of two things: he was an alien from on another planet … or … he was Jesus Christ.

edward-gorey-donald-imagined-thingsIt turned out to be the latter. Yet one more Jesus. He wanted me, because of my brilliant psychic abilities, to be his Paul and spread the word. I told him his timing was off. I promised to advise him when the right moment arrived. Then I fled into the night and home.

He was one of several people who convinced me there was no future for me in the psychically predictive arts.

Then there was the guy I worked with at a high-tech company in Rhode Island.  One day he told me he was going to quit his job and move to an underground bunker in anticipation of the coming American apocalypse. I hadn’t even done his horoscope. Our relationship went rapidly downhill.

These surprises have made me wary of new friends who don’t come with references from other friends. I’m afraid of what might be revealed when we get to know each other better. The thing about people who believe in cabals — or that they were dropped from an alien space craft or will be leaving on one shortly — are that they are sure God has assigned them a mission and you cannot argue with them.

You can’t point out the incongruities and contradictions of their beliefs. They believe what they believe and that’s that. Facts are irrelevant. They ignore evidence. They know everything they need to know and given where they’re coming from, that’s probably enough. For them.

I haven’t personally met a real nutter lately, so I think I’ve got an opening in my tribe. Any applicants?

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

48 thoughts on “WHAT A SHOCK!”

  1. I’ve known three “Jesus freaks” in my life. None thought they actually were Jesus, but for all three of them, Jesus was in the driver’s seat. They look WWJD literally. Couldn’t really deal with any of them for any more than a few minutes at a time.


  2. One thing about the Internet…. it can really let your Inner Freak out. Although… you seem to have been able to find quite enough of them without it! 😉

    I seem to have managed to put mine back in his box for the time being – but when He reveals the Time is Right i’ll be sure to be in touch! (and when i do finally take over the World there are a bunch of jerks who will be the first up against the wall come the revolution – mostly advertising execs and politicians, with a sprinkling of bankers and telecom CEO’s!

    Have not met a Jesus (or even The Jesus) personally but i really like the dyslexic Santa who thought he was Satan! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Other planet? Big UFO waiting for you in the sky? Never you mind. I’m ready to blow your bugle and send you message to the world. AND … if you respond now, for the same price, I’ll blow your bugle TWICE. Just add handling and postage.


  3. It does take one aback when someone you thought was totally sane, turns out to be insane. How did they hide it so well I always wonder? How could I have missed it? And then it is like a slap in the face when the crazy come out.


  4. Just awful, all of those fake prophets. Really steams Me up. Since, of course, I’m sure you know the truth. Of course, the last time I started My life’s Work at 30 and I’m now in My 50s, but just wait… Hold on, I need to go back into My bunker and count cans of green beans. Maybe I’ll call the Mothership back on Voltar while I’m in there…

    I’m sorry, now what were you saying? 😉

    I’ve met a few people who told me that that they were the only ones who understood Jesus and everyone who didn’t listen were going to Hell, but luckily nobody has told me that they actually were Jesus. Maybe I’m just not the type they felt they could trust…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I first hit online communication on a message board, all sorts of strange things came out of the woodwork. One man, a pleasant, funny, articulate dude, became friends with me. Nothing major. And then one day while we were having a discussion about lord-knows-what he said, quite casually, that he had been talking to the President earlier (who had just had a TV press conference). “Oh, really,” I said, playing along. I thought he was joking. “Yes, actually, he sends me messages over the television…”


    In a local restaurant one day, before cell phones, I noticed that the man in the booth behind me was carrying on a spirited convo with someone. But no one was answering. Then I realized he was a party of one, discussing important deals with the president. When the waitress came by I said, very quietly, “please tell me he’s on a phone. Or with someone.” and she just smiled and said, “he’s harmless. If he makes you uncomfortable…” “no no” I said, ” I just wanted to be sure…”

    cellphones are the boon to all those folks who now can talk to God or the Pope in public without being noticed….


    1. But they don’t, because … they don’t NEED any damned phone! They have that direct LINK, you know? Who does Trump talk to? There must be someone (some thing?) out there, waiting for his magic words.


  6. Um. I’ve never met any honest to God (heh heh) believers that they were actually Jesus Christ. Now I’ve READ about them and a lot of them seem to gravitate to Utah for some reason. Maybe they think they’ll find some followers out here (and some of them actually do too). If some fool came up and told me he was Jesus, I’d ask him when was the last time he had his medication checked and could I help him find the sanitorium? All that said, I’m a member of a church (Mormon) and to a lot of people that qualifies me as ‘one who drank the kool-aid and a cultist”. So is that qualification for membership in YOUR tribe?


    1. Utah. Okay. But I gotta tellya, there are a LOT of them in Jerusalem. It’s like a magnet. Pulls them right in.

      My only qualification is that you know for sure that the mother ship is on its way to collect you … or you know because God Told You that you ARE the mother ship. I am NOT talking about faith in regular people.

      I am talking about those who fly high above us on those special wings we don’t have. They really DO love Jerusalem.

      I love Jerusalem too, but I never thought God sent me there. I just plain LOVE it. I might love Salt Lake City too. Just haven’t gotten there. We wanted to go there last time we were in Arizona, but the roads were snowy and we didn’t have a 4-wheeler. I hear it’s beautiful. Our friend Ben lived in SLC for a decade. I believe he was working at the university or something of that nature. When he moved, it was to work at UAriz for the next 30 years.


  7. Sorry Marilyn, I have disclose I’m a wing nut, no Christ here, just a wing nut, but I refuse to live in a bunker. I want a flushing toilet and hot water and after what we’ve been through I want it more than ever.


  8. Just a sec … I think I left my cross in the bunker.
    Wing nut? … well I’m Right Wing. Possibly half way there.
    Despite what we may think about such things, the average person – in any Religion – is a pretty good person – trying to be better.


    1. I know. But then, there’s the dark side. There is a dark side to every LIGHT side. Haven’t you noticed? I don’t have an emotional issue with people who disagree with me, other than that they disagree with me. I have trouble with people who are too irrational to talk to at all. You know. The ones who automatically assume I’m going to hell or worse because I don’t agree with THEM.


        1. Garry would never let me do his horoscope, or more to the point, never let me tell him anything about it. Just like DNA, he did NOT want to know. You never find out anything useful from the little magics, but sometimes, I found out things I really DIDN’T want to know. So I quit. Tarot, astrology, everything. Whenever I get the itch to check it out, I don’t.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. So this “nutter” you have an opening on your roster for… do I…, er…, he, need an appointment, for an interview, or can he/she just assume a position in line? I’m just curious.., just curious.


  10. So I guess this would be the wrong time to reveal that I was bitten by a radioactive spider when I was a teenager?


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