This won’t be popular. But I believe it needs saying.
Recently a post has been going around on Facebook promoting Paranormal Unity, because we’re all after the same thing. While I support the idea of respect across the board, I’m afraid I need to burst your bubble. We aren’t all in it for the same reasons.
In fact, there are four main reasons we are in this field: Finding Answers, Helping Others, Thrill Seeking and Money/Fame. I’m sure at least two apply to you.
I’m in the group looking for answers; trying to explain the paranormal either through efforts to develop reliable methodology or new equipment, as well as the group looking to help other people with problems from the paranormal. Getting us to respect each other and try to educate others is not a hard thing to do.
A small group are in it for fame and fortune, expecting to be the next Ghost Adventures Crew or the like. The chances of getting them to respect everyone else depend upon how highly those folks look up to them.
The majority of people these days seem to be in this for kicks. I read posts about people going to famous haunted locations and looking forward to getting scared. They are excited and expecting it to be fun.
And here’s the really unpopular bit – the paranormal world is not an amusement park! It doesn’t exist for you to get your jollies. It can, in fact, be quite dangerous. A good friend was recently pushed so hard she would have gone down a long flight of stairs had she been a step or two closer. I’ve lost friends and even a relationship over changes caused in people’s behavior.
It’s okay to be excited and enjoy investigating. But take the time to learn what you’re doing from seasoned people and sources other than television shows. Otherwise you may get what you asked for and, when you find yourself injured at the bottom of those stairs, that it wasn’t what you had been expecting.
Frank Heiberger – firstname.lastname@example.org