Once upon a time, not too long ago, and not too far away, there was a traveller who visited a city, and stayed for a month. After 3 weeks of lurking about in the outer fringes of that city, where he could see them clearly and note all their movements and activities but they could not see him at all, he formally made his presence known, by giving a talk at their community center - it was a truly marathon activity that lasted almost a week. After fielding questions from several people, and suffering the enmity of nearly all the rest, it finally resulted in 3 or 4 of them actually resorting to cursing, threats and pulling weapons. Finally, on that last day, the Chief Bible Pounder and Minister of Disinformation stepped forward and issued his eviction edict. Unfortunately for that little man and his sense of power, the traveller had already retreated to the bushes - you can't expel one who's already left, in fact a couple days before.
Now this is not really that strange a story. It happens all the time, in every city. This particular city was unique in that it was founded upon pseudo-scientific and mystical-religious tenets, and everyone was a Bible-carrying fanatic, marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion, but even though, it was Still and Dead - that is, its city-zens were - wedded, as they were, to that peculiar fundamentalism exemplified by their staunch unyielding support of themselves and their Bible-teachings. This, coupled with very little tourism and visitation by the outside world of men and ideas, led to a kind of incestuous overzealousness of the common group-think.
When the Interloper arrived, he did not enter the city directly, but merely posted a advertisement in their community paper, announcing his arrival: a man with a plan, a way to execute it - "Panama". ("a man, a plan, a canal, panama") It was not clearly evident by the cityzens at the time, that Panama had a plan, or even a basis for action in their city, but they did not fear him, so he was totally dismissed.
When finally he gave his talk, to a packed audience, they were completely taken aback, as they were totally off-guard. This is not surprising, it never is; because their Bible did not, actually could not, provide methods or means for dealing with new visitors, as it was only a recipe for dealing with cityzens born and bred 'in the city'.
Now, to be fair, the talk Panama gave, sought to bring into question their 4 main beliefs (Efforts, Results, Maps, Names) - and the audience was, naturally, immediately offended, and to them, rightfully so. To them, it appeared the Interloper had come to destroy them, and they, to a man/woman, hated that Interloper, and feared him.
The reasons for their fear is built into all cityzens. It has to do with a certain stability of functioning that comes from long years of repetition of the same-old same-old ideas contained in their Bible. In fact, all these cityzens could talk about with each other was their confirming belief system, supported by quotes, anecdotes, and rote memory.
It was the old merry-go-round story:
Many kids on a merry-go-round believe they are on the road to enlightenment. But, here's the thing: there is no one on the merry-go-round with them to know and say otherwise.