Funny little buzzword that seems to get pushed around the paranormal community, a lot. Mention it in any social media setting and you'll be sure to get a ton of conflicting reactions. Express the fact that you are not a supporter, prepare for a shit storm of ridicule.
When people proclaim that they support it, what exactly is that they support? Is it supporting each other despite people's methods of evidence collection or their moral standards? What about individuals beliefs in what is considered paranormal, despite being logical or not? Or is it simply respecting each other's differences regardless the way they operate? Where does the line begin, and where does it end?
The image above states, "We are ALL working towards the same goal", but are we? I don't think so.
The idea of ParaUnity itself is a misleading term that indicates that we are all under the same umbrella of goals and standards. This is just not the case. As a community that is unmonitored by any governing agencies, there is literally no set of rules of what is acceptable or what is not. In the day of entitlement and overt tolerance, everyone feels they too are entitled to be called a researcher, with no discrimination of their knowledge, beliefs, moral standards, intent or goals. While it's true that literally anyone can be a ghost hunter, there are problems that arise from being omitted from following a code of ethics or moral standard.
I have noticed those who seem to be the biggest promoters of ParaUnity, are those who are looking for find acceptance within the community. People who are confident in their research and know their role in the paranormal community, do not feel the need to seek acceptance.
Anyone can grab a recorder and obtain what they believe are EVP. That's a fact. That's all good and fine, but if you ask that same person to explain what makes an EVP and how it is obtained using that device, many will not have an answer. If we are going to be so bold as to call ourselves researchers, shouldn't we be willing to thoroughly educate ourselves on the subjects we participate in? Should we not partake in collective research studies where our data is compiled, scrutinized, and submitted to unbiased peer review?
Skill and understanding comes in time. For that, I can be patient as long as there's a willingness to learn.
I know many who read this, will think I am taking a very cynical stance on the ParaUnity term. I will say this. I believe everyone deserves respect, when it is warranted. I give everyone the same respect until I am given reason to believe that it is not deserved. Just because I show you respect, does not mean that I am required to be unified with you.
How do you get everyone to support each other's missions, when you have those that are here to conduct honest research for the advancement of paranormal research, and others who are here to make lots money and get famous by selling a really scary ghost story?
The difference between paranormal researchers and ghost hunters is so mind-blowingly different, it's impossible to put these two under the same umbrella of unity. If you say there is no difference, then I can only assume you are oblivious to the fact that there are people here who couldn't give a damn about truth or the the betterment of the community
My time spent in the paranormal community, I have seen the best and worst in people. I have met many wonderful people who consider themselves paranormal researchers. These people are always striving to represent the paranormal community with the highest moral standard. Despite their personal beliefs, these people are always willing to share data, openly welcome peer review, and are in it for the right reasons, to find truth. No matter our belief system, truth should always be the goal and honesty should always prevail.
On the flip side of the coin, there are the opposite kind of people. These people reflect the worst side of the paranormal community. These people hoard locations and data about them. If you promote unity, you should share your data! This also includes welcoming peer review. Time and time again, I see teams who religiously promote unity, but post bad evidence on their pages. When you attempt to give honest, fair feedback you are ridiculed, called a bully and blocked from their pages. How can you post an extraordinary claim and not expect to get opinions? These types are always busy working on their paranormal resumes by beefing them up with misleading information and hokey unfounded claims they label as "evidence". The fame seeking types are always easy to spot by their spamming of their pages on your own walls to the point of obnoxiosity. The paranormal community has single-handedly turned into a huge popularity contest.
Research is about truth, not how many likes you have on your counters.
Another problem we have in the community, is people misleading others with fake credentials. Unless you have a degree, from an accredited university in a supporting area of expertise such as parapsychology or anomalous science, you are not an expert. Certifications of completion from a Ghost Hunting 101 class, does not make you an expert in paranormal research. This simply means you have completed a crash course in one organization's theories on what ghosts are and how investigations should be conducted. This means nothing.
There are way too many self proclaimed "experts" forefronting this "black t-shirt paranormal movement".
Speaking of forefronting the paranormal community. It seems the measurement of one's success within the paranormal community is landing a show on a major TV network, rather than gaining recognition for our research. This is actually quite sad. This is not to say that many of the people who are on these shows have not done some extraordinary things, but the fact is...many have not. By the standards of the average person, if you are a TV para investigator, you word is gold. To be fair, if you are one of the very lucky few who get into the TV industry based on your research, I commend you. I really do. I would say that you are one of the rare few.
With the surge of paranormal programming becoming popular in 2004, this era's version of paranormal research is reminiscent of the 1800's spiritual movement. Everyone is engaged, everyone is fascinated, and nearly everyone is gullible.
People, charlatans are alive and well in 2015. We should damn well be watching what others are doing and we should definitely be careful about who we're giving our trust to.
So, when I am asked, do I support "ParaUnity", I will give a very blunt and honest no.
While I recognize everyone has a right to find their own path to truth, I am not naive enough to think we are all here for the same goal. I do however support other individuals who have proven themselves time and time again to be honest. I support those who have demonstrated their due diligence to provide clear information about their credentials, methodology of data collection, and welcome peer review of that data. I support those who practice ethical investigating standards, and who strive for excellence.
At the end of the day, no matter our beliefs we should all stop expecting everyone to deserve the same praise and treatment despite their intentions. I will always give credit where credit is due. If I think you are one of the toxic ones, I refuse to be united with you and your mission. Unconditional support and unity is not a requirement and plus, it's completely counterproductive to the goal of creating moral standard. Holding people accountable is the only way we will continue to advance this community to the next level. Quit holding everyone to the same standards, we are not equal. ParaUnity is bullshit. Respect is earned, not given.
|photo courtesy of www.weirdlectures.com|