It took a while for this to sink in, but after some conversations with an amazing variety of people from Perth, WA, I’ve come to realise why a particular puppet show went undetected for far too long.
That’s where someone (herein, “the Puppet Master”) invents a look-alike for a significant person in their lives, then starts reacting to the puppet, not the reality.
This sounds silly, but for modelling purposes the puppet has some significant advantages over real life, an obvious one being that the puppet will do what you tell it to, whereas real life is seldom so accommodating.
There is a big disadvantage, of course, in that you don’t have the “name” (character & authority) of the one you’re Puppetting — & we all know that bad things happen if you walk up & arrest someone “because I am a policeman,” but two bad things happen because not only to you have to be a policeman, you have to also have a specific reason for needing to arrest someone... which reason is utterly useless without a suitable Name & in the case of the Puppet Master, they have neither Name nor reason so absolutely no chance of eventual success.
Now, a Puppet Master can be a fearsome (albeit sometimes silly) thing to behold, but things get seriously, um, interesting when the Puppet Master themselves becomes subject to the control of other Puppet Masters, who as well as running a “straight” (hah!) puppet show themselves, have grown to regard this as too mundane, so instead of settling for altering the puppet’s behaviour, have stooped to altering the actual behaviour of real people.
It might strike you as unlikely that a Puppet Master should fall subject to other Masters, but in practice the (effectively enslaved) subMaster becomes so accustomed to the puppetry process that they no longer notice when it’s aimed at them rather than by them.
This becomes doubly damning when the Puppet Slave has been quietly running their own show this way since childhood; amongst other things, there’s no steep contrast to signal the onset of either Puppet Mastery or Puppet Slavery.
Some of the Perth people (a few more directly involved than others) tried to warn the Puppet Slave that this was no real game of any sort, that they needed to reconsider everything or lose the lot, but apparently this warning was mis-read as a kind of team-play manoeuvre, so Slave seems to be working on destroying practically everything of value in their life (as a “necessary sacrifice” although their basis for that assertion is in essence a lie also), piece by piece, while simultaneously projecting an image of surprised injury — another old game which teenage friends once mocked Slave openly for playing.
Oh, & ignoring this kind of thing, pretending it will go away, is not an option for a Christian, either. Christians are told in many places (for example, 1 Corinthians 10:5) to actively undermine such falsehoods.
One wonders what surprises the Slave will emit next.
The Slave wonders why nobody trusts them (⟪most unfair, but they were losers anyway⟫).
Stay tuned, I guess.