An anecdote on the toxic mix of gullibility and false authority
Somewhat recently I went to visit my mother. I'd seen reports of a lunar eclipse that night. We went outside at the appointed time and watched the moon turn red for a while. While watching the progression of that eclipse, I remembered the time I'd amused myself by becoming a false prophet.
On a night with a total lunar eclipse, maybe 5 years before, I picked up a group of three people in their 20's - two males and a female. I gleefully told my passengers about the imminent eclipse. I don't remember my exact delivery, but I made an effort to be a 'goofy taxi driver' to amuse my passengers. I was kind of like the crazy neighbor Kramer from the 90's TV sitcom Seinfeld.
I might have said, "... and tonight, on your taxi ride, THE MOON IS GOING AWAY."
The guys recognized my faux seriousness. The woman cautiously asked, "What does that mean?"
I might have responded, "Everyone needs a vacation, the moon is no exception. The moon is going to dim for a while. "
She said, "I DON'T LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT".
"It's not like it's getting moon-napped, it's just taking an involuntary break from its duties, of lighting up our night sky."
"THAT SOUNDS AWFUL....
"It's completely normal, it's called a blood moon." I tried to explain a lunar eclipse, but she didn't have the references to understand my explanations.
Failing to explain, I sensed an opportunity to amuse myself.