I once witnessed a conversation that went like this :
A. There are so many true stories in the world we decided not to expose our children to anything fictional or made-up.
B. So do you think that Jesus knew the sower who went out to sow, and the name of the prodigal son?
Jesus made up stories. The Bible has lots of made-up stories. We can usually tell fact from fiction, though sometimes one does need to ask, "Is this a true story?"
I mention this in connection with two things :
Firstly, the whole discussion of Santa Claus, Narnia, trees, etc...
Secondly, to point out that nobody who belongs to a crazy extreme sect says to themselves "Here I am in this crazy extreme sect." From the inside the sect seems logical and the rest of the world seems crazy.
And here's the scary thing. There's a spectrum. Sometimes groups of people go nuts to a greater or lesser degree, but the people inside the group can't tell...