Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paranormal, Psychics, and Phrauds

By Reap Paden

Whenever someone asks me "What qualifies you to write about the paranormal?" My answer is "What qualifies anyone?"

There are many things that bother me about the paranormal community.

One is the incredible claims and the jumps across logic and reason some people will make and expect others to do the same.

Chip "I made contact with a water poltergeist in a home last night"
Dan "Really?"
Chip "Yes I must have made it mad because it followed me home"
Dan "It followed you home?"
Chip "Yes, it did"
Dan "Ok, how do you know it followed you home? Wait, how do you know it was a water poltergeist? How do you know it was a poltergeist at all?"
Chip "I have a special ability to sense such things. And I know it was a water poltergeist because when I came home....." (starts weeping)
Dan "What are you crying about? Go ahead, I'm listening, when you came home it…what?"
Chip "It put a hole in my water heater. My water heater was leaking! It was horrible!"
Dan "How was it horrible? I mean, water heaters tend to leak sometimes they are metal and hold water. I don't think...."
Chip (screaming)" WHY ARE YOU SO NEGATIVE?!  You know what you are? CLOSED MINDED! You deny the possibility of a water poltergeist following me home even though I tell you it happened! Why do you deny something that is so obviously true? Why would I lie? And if I am imagining it then why do I have a bill from the plumber for $500 to 'replace bad water-heater'? (screams again in higher pitch) WHAT MORE PROOF DO YOU NEED?!"
Dan "You do realize that it's not closed-minded to.."
Chip "Oh you are closed-minded all right. You are constantly questioning EVERYTHING. Why can't you just BELIEVE?"
Dan "Because if I 'just believe' everything…"
Chip "I didn't say everything"
Dan "Yes you did, you said…"
Chip "There you go again! It's like everything I say is a lie!"
Dan "You are an idiot"

Believe it or not, I have had this conversation on numerous occasions. There are many things that this example shows. It shows that many people make the jump to paranormal as the cause for events by default. This alone dooms any claim when examined by a reasonable, unbiased, logical party.

You would first have to show it cannot be explained by some natural cause BEFORE it could be considered a possible paranormal event. Keep in mind even though you cannot explain something is the result of natural causes that still does not automatically make it paranormal. Just like the argument used so often that science cannot prove ghosts do not exist, calling something paranormal cannot prove there isn't a natural explanation. Too often people and groups will make it a point they use science when doing investigations followed by a link to the orb pics proving they found a haunted factory. While these claims result from ignorance about photography and science the most harm done from them is to the credibility of the people making the claim. This is not always the case...

Let's look at psychics. It would be silly for me to lump all psychics into one group. While I've never seen or met a psychic that could prove they are any more than intuitive I still don't hold them all in the same regard. If a psychic insists they have unique abilities and then tries to use those abilities to have an effect on the choices and actions of others, then there is a problem. A good example of totally irresponsible and harmful behavior would be Chip Coffey. Chip appears in a TV show called Psychic Kids. Chip is seen 'helping' children to deal with their psychic abilities. First, for anyone to be so egotistical, so arrogant, so disgustingly stuck-up to think they can do things most people cannot is bad enough. Sure you may hear psychics say "Anyone can learn to do what I do, we all have the ability" that is nothing more than an attempt to deflect anyone critical of their claims. Using your 'psychic abilities' on children to treat episodes of mental distress is a form of molestation. Child molestation is not restricted to physical touching. Children who think they are being haunted by spirits at night are often the victims of mistreatment. Instead of recognizing that abuse for what it is the event will manifest itself as a dream or what could be described as a paranormal event. I won't claim to be a doctor but I  have enough knowledge on the subject to say Chip Coffee is not helping any children, quite the opposite. Children lack the ability to handle some situations emotionally. We limit children's exposure to violence and adult situations for this reason. When children are exposed things they cannot process because they lack the life experience to do so it has to be dealt with some way.  Sometimes it is violent behavior or isolation; sometimes it is making up stories to explain the situation. I am not saying every child on Psychic Kids is being abused but the possibility is certainly there.

Despite the fact numerous people have made the same points I make here directly to Chip, he continues his abusive behavior. How a person gets to the point where their own egotistical need over-rides any compassion they have for others is not known but it is demonstrated by Chip Coffey. He has no education in psychology that I have ever heard of. If he did have an education as a psychologist and he tried to practice in the same manner he does on Psychic Kids the speed that he was condemned by others in his field would create a sound similar to when an aircraft breaks the sound barrier. Despite that Chip keeps on going and people keep supporting him. Some people even claim Chip is a 'wonderful person'. For someone to come to that conclusion indicates They are either ignorant of the facts about Chip's behavior or they are cold hearted and stupid. The fact is no one with an education in the field is shown to be assisting these kids in any way. What is done to these children are a good example of what happens when the jump is made from unknown to paranormal cause. In this case the explanation could be something that is actively harming the children while Chip tries to convince them it's OK, all they need to do is accept and embrace what is happening to them. Yea, some psychics are put in their own category, Chip Coffey's file would read - Chip Coffey/repulsive/irresponsible/narcissist.

Up next - We will be talking about demons. If you would like to offer any information that you feel supports or disproves the existence of demons contact me on Facebook I consider all sides- Reap Paden