As time has passed, I’ve looked at all the pieces of the paranormal puzzle. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the issues or problems within the paranormal community/field that concern me, and should concern others, could be solved by creating one governing body to oversee all paranormal investigators and researchers. The paranormal field as a whole, will never be considered its own scientific field for several reasons unless there is change on how things are done. There needs to be one methodology used for the investigating process and the collection of evidence. Otherwise, it all remains a bunch of unrelated anomalies because you can’t compare apples and oranges…think scientific method. I don’t know how it should come to be, but I do believe it has become necessary for this to happen. Now you may ask why, and I will explain. (This is a longer than usual blog article so set aside a few minutes to read this one) I consider myself reasonably educated about the paranormal, and the areas that I may lack knowledge in is hopefully compensated by the knowledge or expertise another member on my team. However, I think there needs to be a formal education of not just the investigative process, but of some basic sciences as it applies to the paranormal. Some basic scientific theories or laws from various scientific fields need to be considered and incorporated into the paranormal studies. Other areas outside of the sciences should to be formally taught too. Also, specifics for submissions into a collective and colaborative database should be set in place. This would be helpful so that we may discern just what, and/or how much external factors we can’t control, like solar flares, etc. do indeed effect paranormal activity. I also, at least in part, think that the same procedures and methodology should be used among all investigators, along with how to practically apply these things when investigating and/or reviewing evidence. Yes, there should be different approaches, experiments, etc., but I think you know what I mean.
Confidentiality between client and investigator is one thing that should be done and respected, but some groups have become so guarded that their investigations and information gathered is more like a secretive ops mission which causes more detriment to the field than anything else. Even when no contracted client is involved (client cases probably make up less than half, and that’s a generous guestamate on my part), many teams guard the source of their evidence from public investigations, like a starving wolf would its food. To me this mentality is only self serving, selfish and not useful. What if Madame Curie took on this attitude of, I know something you don’t. This behavior is not helpful and only detrimental to furthering the field and finding the answers to the many mysteries we all so desperately want solved.
Maybe there needs to be three camps, per say. One with a strictly scientific approach, one with a more metaphysical approach, and one made of the average Joe, like me, who is knowledgeable and good at what they do and may even excel at it, according to the standards set in place now. I must include this last category, as I don’t want to totally screw myself and other comrades out of a much loved job. All three of these groups must register and report to, and be held accountable to, one expert council that governs that is held in place by a majority vote by the members.
Most critical to all this, regardless of how it is set up, is the necessity for open communication and colaborbation amongst all investigators and researchers, and a collective and shared database amongst all who are involved. Otherwise all the pieces we gather as individual remains just that pieces of a very elaborate and extensive puzzle. It’s like taking a brush full of paint and whipping the paint from the brush in hand at a wall. It just becomes a collection of a bunch of unrelated paint specs on a canvas or barren wall.
At the very least, regardless of all I’ve said in this article, I suggest what should be noted and implemented immediately is the registration of any and all involved in paranormal investigating and research. Registration should be with one accredited, formally designated, and accepted governing body that is chosen and voted in by its members. A sort of unionization of all members may be helpful as a second step.
Let me at this point, stop, and let you, my readers know…There are a lot of really good, sincere, and reputable, and communicative teams out there, but sadly, I don’t believe they are the majority.
Internet evidence posting of “evidence”, which started as a humble way of sharing information amongst enthusiast, and/or an attempt to try and bring “proof” out into the open, has become more of a “look at me, look at me, and how awesome a catch I have” scenario. Also, there is way too many people posting stuff that believe they have “something” paranormal or ghostly when they really don’t. This may mostly be done not as an intentional deceit, but simply because they aren’t educated enough about the review process and its pitfalls. All too often, education, money, and resources aren’t available for individuals or they aren’t technologically savvy, or just they didn’t receive any guidance through the learning process of becoming an investigator and/or researcher. However, there is also high prevelance of individuals who are technologically savvy who get a kick out of posting things to intentionally deceive others.
Another problem, just slightly different than one I mentioned a little earlier above, is an unhealthy competiveness that leads to groups not willing to share. …think, of that awesome spinach dip recipe you keep asking your friend for, but she keeps putting off giving it to you, and if and when you get it, inevitably she’s intentionally left out an ingredient.
There is an increasing exploitatio occurring too. Exploitation of clients and the general public. The paranormal business has become quite the money making business as of late. Every yahoo from here to Brazil is trying to make a buck using the paranormal as its vehicle. Now please, at this point, don’t confuse this with those who openly and honestly pursue the paranormal in a sincere way, and who are using there own cash to subsidize and further along sincere investigating or research. These investigators/researchers are sincerely trying to collect answers, help people, and, let face it, make ends meet in their own personal lives. I actually support those who sacrifice so much of their time, money, and freedom to pursue the paranormal in a way that will ultimately help all. As long as they aren’t making money off of people or families in need of help….I support their outside endeavors to make money with their gained knowledge. However, there are a lot of unprofessional and unscrupulous characters out there that are taking advantage of people. Feeding fears or feeding off fears with no other intent but to make a buck for themselves. In other words, they are jumping on the paranormal bandwagon and taking some unsuspecting individual or business for a shady ride. There are many individuals or groups who basically con others for their own self serving profit too. Blatant misrepresentation that ends with the taking of money from an individual or family under some sort of pretense.
The lack of sincerity, education, and professionalism among many investigative groups is apparent too. I’ve personally heard of a lot of groups that go on investigations that are more like a ghost “hunts”. These team members and those in attendance with them are drinking alcohol while investigating. Some show up to investigate and then never report back at all to the client, or are providing them with shoty evidence. Then there are the thrill seekers that have no real experience or particular knowledge at all. I call it the year round Halloween haunted house experience. Now mind you, when something exciting happens, I love the thrill part too, but that is only one small aspect of the intrigue and appeal.
Public investigations are locations in which the business or property owner allows paranormal investigation groups access to their location at a cost. I call these types of investigations, investigative outings. They are not client contracted by either an individual or business. Meaning, no one called the group and asked the team to come in and investigate. These places think they have activity, sometimes based in fact and sometimes not, and they essentially are making money off of groups that come in and want to check it out for themselves. These type of outings for me are relaxed and fun, and a great way/place to train new investigators too.
Recently I tried to get my group into two different public locations that report activity and allowed paranormal groups to come in for investigations. When I called and spoke with the manager of the facilities I was told that no more groups/teams will be allowed in. Apparently, there had been hundreds, and in one instance, thousands of dollars worth of property damage and theft that occurred at the hands of a previous paranormal team that had been there.
Lastly, at least for now, the reason one governing body should be considered and may need to happen is there needs to be accountability of those of us who call themselves paranormal investigators. Background checks on all investigators should be required (Note: many reputable paranormal teams already do this). Maybe something like a certification or license with a grading system should be offered by the one governing board of experts and scientist. This would at least ensure the public knows who and what they are getting in an investigator and/or researcher. There is so much to be considered and I don’t suggest that I have the answers. I’m only suggesting that there needs to be some sort of accountability that will ensure public safety, and provide a consistent methodology in procedures, in the collection of evidence, and the reviewing of it. Some of these ideas and suggestions, along with one organized database, may be worth exploring for the benefit of the public, and the growth of the paranormal industry…and much to my dismay it is more of an industry now than anything else. It’s an industry full of a lot of different schools of fish trying to navigate the currents and tides in a big ocean in which the water is way above their heads.
If paranormal investigators/researchers truly want to be taken serious within the scientific community as a whole, as well as with the general public, and if we want answers beyond what the sciences, metaphysics, etc. supplies us with now, we need to move forward in a more constructive manner than we are doing now.