When The Paranormal Community Goes Wrong

I’m not going to lie. I am livid. Seething. Absolutely and completely hacked off. And why? Because a certain website and facebook page that I personally find extremely useful and NEEDED within this community has had it’s accounts suspended, page taken down, and the personal account of it’s founder Topher Young restricted for ten days.

So, why has all this occurred? All due to a couple of nutjobs taking it upon themselves to “set the record straight” and make sure that this so-called “bully” was eliminated and they’d feel justified about themselves and the bullshit they perpetuate.

I won’t deny, I believe in the paranormal. I believe that there are occurrences that we can’t explain yet, gaps in scientific knowledge or cultural experience that we haven’t yet discovered, depths that as yet we have not explored – in terms of both the human psyche and the planet we live on. And yet, as evolved as we like to think ourselves, some of us clearly haven’t.

As of right now, the much-needed peer review group Worst Paranormal is no longer on facebook or has a website. And to me, that’s absolutely disgusting. As a community, an area, field or interest, whatever you want to call it, the paranormal urgently needs peer reviewing, clearly needs supervision of some rate because for far too long, we’ve seen people – unregulated, unchecked – venture into people’s houses (when they’re feeling particularly vulnerable or with unrestricted and unregulated access to children and sensitive adults). Worst Paranormal didn’t address that per se but did address paranormal teams specifically and offered them up to the paranormal community for peer review, an evaluation essential for all those involved in a particular area or field of study.

I have personally witnessed the kind of sustained, verbal assault on not just the page, the website and what it stands for but also such vile attacks on Topher and many others. They’ve labelled him – among other things – a paedophile, questioned his motives, his techniques and spoken of him in an incredibly personal way even though this specific targeting of an individual on facebook is against their own terms of service. It’s a violation that speaks more about the nutjobs – and I use that term for a reason – that targeted him and Worst Paranormal than it does about an extremely valuable and unbiased peer review that is desperately required. These people are clearly unhinged, obviously deeply delusional and fanatical – and yet, they STILL will be invited into people’s homes. And I don’t need to tell you just how potentially dangerous that is.

To say I am heavily editing what I think is a huge understatement. I am very, very upset. Disgusted. Outraged. Revolted. Disappointed. Repulsed. To think that people who are apparently law-abiding christians (their hypocritical nonsense, not my words) can do this without repercussion is truly one of the most revolting acts of human ability I have ever seen. And I’ve been subject to quite a lot of it. However, this is not a rant about them because it would already fuel their over-inflated sense of their own self-importance within their own narcissistic worlds (and they are pretty much drama king and queen there as it goes, as delusionally bonkers as they appear to be) . And I genuinely can’t be bothered with feeding and perpetuating their sanctimonious bullshit and trollish behaviour.

This is not about who is right and who is wrong or a difference of opinion. This is about ensuring the success and continuation of community peer review, about continuing education within the paranormal area. It’s about facing up to the underlying issues and addressing them. It’s about supporting those subjected to unfair and personal transgression and letting them know that this behaviour is not ever okay. That vindictiveness and ugliness of character are not qualities one should see in a so-called “professionally-mannered” paranormal investigator, and that as a person, as a community, as a whole, we should speak up and ensure that this no longer happens, that this vile and degrading behaviour is not accepted and not required and that actions have consequences.

These acts are the reason why paranormal unity can never and will never happen. Too many egotists, too many of those with too loud a voice in this community have the ears of too many sheeple and no matter how much people claim “paraunity, yeah!”, we know it’s nothing more than a pipe-dream. It’s a dead and buried concept, and the true irony is that those who scream it the loudest are doing their best to dig it up without ever knowing it’s dead and buried in the first place.

So keep asking questions, keep seeking answers but do so without ego, without malice. Do so with a huge dose of skepticism because no matter how much we – myself included – believe in the paranormal, belief is not and will never equal viable scientific proof. And this kind of scientific research – complete with peer review and calling out of the charlatans and fakers – is essential, is vital, and will be the lifeblood of the paranormal community as I would like to see it. So, stand on the side of the skeptics. Stand on the side of continuing education. Stand on the side of peer review and the scientific process. Stand on the side of decent human beings and make sure they who agree with what these trolls have done know where you stand.

Topher, we stand with you.

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An Open Letter To Ufology

Very well written, and even though this is to the UFO community, the same certainly applies across the paranormal community too.

And no, I won’t side with the “haters”. The truth will out, and this kind of behaviour can – and should – never be tolerated.

JayVay

Dear Ufological Players and Interested Public:

When did it become okay for you personally to ignore pedophilia, sexual abuse, mental abuse of women, and turn cancer and poverty into farces? When did that happen? When will you stop?

As I write, podcaster Gene Steinberg is pondering his umpteenth newsletter begging people for money to support his lifestyle. He lost his last known job many, many, many years ago because he begged a coworker for cash to the point where, apparently, his boss stepped in and canned him. I know this because he told me. Since at least 2006 he has been begging for money from his listeners, his co-hosts, and sometimes his guests. Not money to keep the show going, mind you. Money for bills and rent. Not supplemental income… income.

First there was a family lawsuit from which he would recoup funds and pay you back. Don’t know what…

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Stonehenge Man.

This is just incredible. Take a look. Stonehenge Man.

This article from New Scientist shows a highly skilled representation of what the historical ancestors of those at Stonehenge looked like. The attention to detail is startling, and the bones revealed so much about them and their lives. A mainly soft diet and the richness of the grave itself shows us that he was someone especially prominent in the community (albeit what appears to be a nomadic existance to be sure).

I can only hope now that they rebury the remains in the correct way. Although it’s a bit of a quandry – archaeology and the pursuit of ancestral knowledge or should we just leave them buried out of respect? The issue isn’t really as big as you’d think, considering just how much respect and reverance they handle gravesites with now (as they have done for sometime) but don’t we somehow have a moral obligation to re-inter them in a manner befitting their faith and theologies of the time?

The lines between scientific discovery and archaeological understanding of the origin of Homo sapiens, and the morality of not disturbing ones ancestral gravesite has always been blurry but nevermoreso than now. However, I am a firm believer in – as a collective species – knowing where we’ve come from in order to discover more readily where we’re going. And if that means a re-emergence of the Old Ways (and I don’t mean running round in a bedsheet proclaiming you’re Arthur) and a re-affirmation of our own cultural background, so be it.

In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, I have an insatiable urge to know everything. A terrible thing to have, to be sure. 😀

Paranormal Hypotheses and Theories

A few thoughts for the day with so-called “paranormal” science…

The problem is that a hypothesis has to have some kind of backing scientifically (in other words evidence that is both repeatable and reproducible – read more here), and a hypothesis cannot become a theory without being tested thoroughly and supported (or indeed negated) by the evidence. Frustrating but true (and one of the reasons we are regarded as “woo” by the vast majority of the scientific community), but if every single paranormal team visited a certain location and found the exact same phenomena occurred at the exact same time regardless (or occurring during) the same season/moon phase/meteorological circumstance, then the paranormal would indeed become hypothetically – or theoretically – testable and viable as an area of study.

An effect is not an effect unless it is replicable, and a science is not a science unless it conducts (and values) attempted replications. – Karl Popper.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many claims of theories and hypotheses from some groups that just aren’t scientific – no matter what we try to do to prove the existence of ghosts, the sad fact remains that due to it’s unpredictable nature, we can’t prove it. Or disprove it. However, this post is not some kind of weird rant about that, just a few thoughts.

We are actively collating data for our own hypotheses, hence why I always aim to put “apparent” in front of the term paranormal. Just in case you were wondering. 😉

Now for me personally, I do believe in the paranormal simply because there is no way that so many people over such a large span of time could have the same kind of experiences without something actually causing it. However, I do also take most reports with a pinch of salt simply because I didn’t experience it myself and – particularly in this day and age – manipulation has become the norm so unless I was there when a photograph or video was taken, I rarely believe what I see and hear. However, background is easy to check so those we have sent to us are always thoroughly researched. Those we take ourselves are taken with a pinch of salt and reviewed from every angle. Which is probably why out of the hundreds of hours of video, audio and photographical images we’ve taken, less than eight images are left for us to explain.

And yes, that was “less than” eight. One of them we’re pretty sure what it is but we can’t identify for certain. So frustrating but it’s part of the job. We’ll be posting them up individually soon so people can view them and give us their input but it’s one of the reasons our “Anomalies” section on our website hasn’t been published yet. Maybe I’ll just post a picture of a tumbleweed instead lol

I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud. – CG Jung.

So I’m a believer, a skeptic, a scientifically-minded (hubby says I’m Vulcan as I’m starting to say “that is illogical, Captain” whenever I get asked my opinion on them…go figure) but otherwise awkward sod who refuses to take anything as paranormal until the natural and rational has been eliminated first.

Which is one of the reasons why I still do this. Out of all those hours of footage and reels of film, out of all the flat batteries and digital cameras, out of the accidental sneezing fits during an audio session that I then had to time-stamp in-between sneezes, out of the rain and cold and fog, the moors in the middle of winter and the weekends spent in weird places, out of all the images of dust and dead skin cells. In amongst all of that, you’ll get that one picture you can’t find an explanation for, or a sound clip that just doesn’t “go”, or a piece of footage that you genuinely have no reason or any idea what it is.

NOTE: We have very very few of these, but we’re still educating ourselves so that number (six weeks after I originally wrote it) is now down to two.

And then you revisit at a later date and get something completely different, or nothing at all. The joys of trying to find repeatibility and reproducibility when it’s something as inconstant as the paranormal. Gah!

One of the qualities I like most about humans is our need to know, to investigate, to find out. And I have no doubt that given enough time, we may find the evidence we need to prove – or indeed disprove – the paranormal. However, we will do ourselves a disservice to do it unscientifically. For me, that’s one reason I used to believe in the concept of paranormal unity. If we find out that other groups visited the same locations and experienced or captured the same apparent phenomena we may have done, it’s part of that data we need. The only issue is that some teams or groups  won’t share or do so thinking we’re “stealing” it. Daft, but there it is. And that’s why paranormal unity – a noble concept, to be sure – cannot ever exist. For the most part, teams and groups are unregulated, suffering from a lack of confirmation bias and critical thinking or misinformation and misuse of equipment, ego-trips and lack of morality. And until those issues are addressed properly, until the emphasis is not “Ghost-Hunting and Ego” but “Education and Research”, we will not be moving forward to increase our understanding.

We are human, we aren’t infallible but unless we learn to work together, to learn from each other and not react with violent dismay when our claims and ethics as teams and groups are challenged, then we won’t get anywhere. And that really would be a shame.

Off on an Adventure…

Well, technically…

Feeling (slightly) inspired by the new Hobbit movies, the Management Team of SPRO has decided we’re going to alter the way we work. Usually, we’d keep ourselves – as people – out of the spotlight when it comes to social media, etc, etc as we aren’t bothered when it comes to people knowing who we are rather than knowing what SPRO is. But, I’m starting to think we might be wrong, and we’re going to actually (gasp! shock! horror!) introduce ourselves so people can see that we are actually people behind the SPRO facade.

Now, I’m still not a photogenic person (this would be Sally writing this), and Jason (the other half of SPRO’s Management Team, my fiance and all-round awesome person – in my opinion anyway) still hates having his pic taken but it’s going to have to be something we get used to. Much as I hate to admit it lol

So, take a look about the blog, our website, whatever we’ve set up, and join in with what we post. If you’d like to contact us, do so. If you’re a team who’d like to work with us in our local area, get in touch. We’re not THAT mean. 😉

This blog (if you’re still reading this and haven’t fallen off the chair asleep by now) is primarily a way for you to see what we actually get up to, to see the people behind SPRO and get to know just how much work we put into everything we do.

Prepare for an adventure…of plentiful cups of coffee, bizarre weekends and lots of work and giggles.

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