VANGA, EXTRATERRESTRIALS, WORLD CONSPIRACIES

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This section of Vagabond is usually reserved for the funnier and/or exceptionally eccentric statements and deeds of Bulgaria's statesmen, but in this issue we bring on the results, without a comment, of a poll conducted by Trend, an independent polling agency, into the mindsets of those who vote them into office.

According to the poll, 29 percent of those interviewed believe that extraterrestrials exist while 13 percent are undecided.

14 percent think that extraterrestrials actually live among us. 75 percent of those polled believe that Vanga, the blind clairvoyant in Petrich, who has been featured on numerous occasions in this journal, has the powers of a prophet. The number includes 63 percent of those aged 18-29. An equal percentage of Bulgarians believe that there are people with supranatural abilities, 64 percent think that there are people who can foresee the future, and 53 percent trust that there are people who can heal by performing miracles. 45 percent of the interviewed believe in magic.

The poll, in which over 1,000 adult Bulgarians were interviewed, reveals that 40 percent think the world is ruled by a secret society while 27 percent are undecided. 66 percent know that the pharmaceutical companies create new diseases in order to sell their medicines. 18 percent are unsure.

While Bulgaria is not generally a Buddhist country, 33 percent believe in reincarnation. Women tend to outnumber men in the reincarnation department. 36 percent think that hell and paradise do exist. 14 percent are certain man never stepped on the moon while 28 percent are undecided.

73 percent of those interviewed touch wood in order to prevent any calamity befalling them, 12 percent throw salt for good luck, and 35 percent wear a red thread to thwart an evil spell being cast over them.

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