Brainwashed and unabashed

Sooner or later you’re bound to run into someone you would classify as “brainwashed,” or “extremist,” or simply “crazier than a shithouse rat.” It doesn’t really matter what the basis of their particular fanaticism is (they might even agree with you on one issue or another). What is relevant is that they are absolutely convinced of their ideas; there is no margin for doubt. I find the best option is usually to break out the kid gloves and remove yourself from their presence as tactfully and quickly as possible.

But what do you do when they follow you? Proselytize, hound, badger, or actively try your patience?

In short when is retaliation, censure, or even belittlement an option? Is it ever?

IMHO, billitlement can be a good response. Obviously you want to try being reasonable first but when that fails try belittlement via wit.
Do not fall into the ad hominem trap, but belittle their ideas as much as possible - since I imagine this is what they are trying to push, show the fallacies through extending them to their ridiculous extremes as necessary

I work with a couple guys with some strange ideas. One thinks the U.N. is going to try to take over the U.S. one day soon and the other has solutions for all of the ills of todays society. The common point with both is they believe everyone should be armed to the hilt. If I am talking to either one and if the conversation should stray towards their beliefs, I try to redirect the conversation back to our jobs. If that doesn’t work, I will make an excuse to leave such as I have to go to the bathroom.

Yeah but it never accomplishes anything. So, what’s the point?

racer be sure you take your gun with you to the can. That’s the first thing the UN will try to ban.

How about a simple “Sorry, I don’t have time for this.”

Afraid I can’t be a lot of help - people tend to leave me alone. My husband tells me I intimidate people. Can’t imagine why, mild-mannered soul that I am.

Have you perchance ever met a Jehovah’s witness?

P.S. no offense to any JW’s, but yall are a tenacious bunch.

Brainwashed and Unabashed: The Fred Phelps Story

That’s what popped into my mind when I saw the title. I’m shocked … shocked … nobody thought of it first.


(I find silence works. A walkman can be helpful in achieving that, as can a really thick book about a dense scientific topic.)