5 Elite Clubs You Don’t Want to Be a Part Of
Since a lot of times, life can feel like you’re basically nosediving through a mostly inexplicable experience, it’s nice to hear once in a while that you’re a special little boy or girl that’s different from everybody else. If that comes with admittance to a group of similar people, with which you can discuss how unique you all are, even better. After all, there has to be a reason people are paying for membership to MENSA, which is, at this point, basically a very expensive newsletter that tells you that you’re smart.
Some groups, though, no matter their exclusivity, nobody is trying to join. Sure, they might be a bonding point between the people in them, but that’s mostly because of how terrible the events granting you membership are. They’d have to have a hell of a special handshake for anyone to have any interest in becoming an inductee.
Here are five elite clubs you definitely don’t want to be a part of…
Multiple Lightning Strikes
Unless you have a particular love for tall spires and umbrellas during thunderstorms, being struck by lightning is probably not a central part of your life. Outside of winning the lottery, it’s probably one of the rarest things that can happen to a person that still regularly occupies mental real estate. Maybe the fascination just comes from the fact that, while no one is signing up, it’s still kind of badass. If you have to go out, why not do it like the cover of a Metallica album?
But some people could give you a personal explanation of why it’s highly unpleasant to be hit by lightning. An even smaller subset of those people have multiple points of experience to cover in the matter. Spitting in the face of statistics, there are a couple members of the human race walking the earth who have been hit by lightning multiple times. For example, the man who holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for most times struck by lightning at a shocking (pun unavoidable) 11 times. That man, Melvin Roberts, doesn’t seem to see much humor in the situation, saying, “It’s like it hunts me.”
Stoneman Syndrome, or Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, is among the rarest diseases in the world. Not only is it rare, but it’s incurable and completely debilitating as well, with symptoms that feel more like an ancient curse than a genuine medical condition. If you’re one of the approximately 900 people in the world who suffer from the disease, over time, your muscles and soft tissue gradually turn into bone.
Now, bones are important, and they’re something that you want to have the exact right number of. At the same time, despite what Dungeons & Dragons campaigns and the first area of video games would suggest, a skeleton by itself is not very mobile. As someone who suffers from this disease ages, the syndrome causes much of their body to lock up as more and more of them turn to bone.
This one might be the only unfortunate club on the list that does have some upside. Being that, if you end up being considered a true member of the 27 Club, it would mean that you achieved a great level of fame early on in your life. Unfortunately, it also means that your life was a whole lot shorter than the average person’s.
The 27 Club, if you’re unfamiliar, is the name given to the eerie fact that celebrities who are punching out early seem to overwhelmingly do it at age 27. Whether this is a genuine phenomenon or just another instance of logical fallacy where the hits are counted and the misses ignored, I’ll leave to your personal sense of wonder and need for a fun fact. Regardless, even given that those 27 years seem like a lot of fun, I don’t think many people are signing the dotted line for admission.
If you want a group of alumni that includes the Unabomber and famous mob boss Whitey Bulger, being a participant in the CIA’s Project MK-ULTRA is your ticket. Something that still seems like a conspiracy theory even as you’re reading the genuine CIA admittance that it exists, MK-ULTRA was a program from the 1950s in which subjects were experimented on with LSD. If you’re thinking that on a list of places to drop acid, “in the middle of a bunch of people working for the CIA” doesn’t seem especially pleasant, you would be correct.
The CIA’s exploration into psychoactive drugs wasn’t about good vibes or making Phish songs seem like the correct length, but instead the pursuit of mind control. As you can imagine, that’s a recipe for a pretty bad trip. It’s lousy enough hearing the stories of the people who signed up, but even worse is the fact that some people were granted admittance to this club without their permission or knowledge. Some of the people tested on as part of MK-ULTRA were dosed with LSD with no warning or explanation, and then expected to just process what they’d have to assume was some sort of either religious awakening or mental breakdown.
Want to pay $11 a month for meager-bordering-on-nonexistent premium features on a free website? Want to wear the digital equivalent of a “KICK ME” sign that you can’t remove? Well, my friend, does Elon Musk have a bridge — I mean, valuable opportunity — to offer you.