I decided I’m not beating around the bush when it comes to this topic. But then, when do I ever?
So I and I’m sure many others in the skeptical/humanist/atheist/freethinkers community have noticed an interesting phenomenon that occurs from time to time during event meetups. Sometimes certain, shall we say, “eccentric” types misconstrue the term “Skeptics” or “Freethinkers” to mean something different entirely. Oh what the hell – we sometimes get conspiracy theorist whack jobs who fervently believe the opposite of everything we stand for. It’s ironic but it happens all the frakking time.
I was just at one such event in which a real “live one” was present. Within just a few minutes of introducing himself it was clear this person was not a “freethinker” in the way we would use the term. No. He was a full blown nut job who espoused some truly wild conspiracy theories, pseudo-scientific beliefs, and even paranoid delusions. We know this because – as is usually the case – he wasn’t shy about sharing his information with total strangers. He was also rabidly xenophobic, sexist, and fervently racist. Yes, he had the cuddly approachability of a wolverine. Lucky us.
It’s fascinating that in the mind of a paranoid delusional psychotic person (sorry, I’m not a doctor but I’m willing to bet) they are the only ones who are “enlightened” or who “get it” or can see “the truth”, so they think they are the real skeptics or freethinkers. Weird.
So anyway, now this person has signed up for one of my group’s upcoming events. And I’m sure, just like the other group’s event, he will end up making everyone feel uncomfortable and nervous and may even make new people consider not returning. So, as the group’s leader I feel like I should do something. But what? I’m seriously afraid of aggravating anyone mentally unstable. Just a polite “We’d rather you didn’t return.” might be enough to incite this madman to do who knows what.