Paranormal Politics: The Paranormal Community Unveiled
When one visits a paranormal website, what they first see is the overall quality of the site; the various discussions, articles, photographs and other evidence can be quite educational. Yet, what is hardly ever seen is what goes on behind the scenes, especially among the various paranormal groups in the community. In fact, despite the many individuals or groups that work in conjunction with one another and strive for understanding of the paranormal, there are just as many groups and individuals that do just the opposite; wasting both precious time and energy attacking other paranormal groups or individuals, their ideas, and ideals.
Before we begin to examine the prevalent dissension within the paranormal community, it is extremely important to recognize that the following examination is not an attack on any member of the paranormal community, nor is it an accusation in any way. Moreover, this examination is not an attempt to single out, abuse, or otherwise offend any member of the paranormal community. Further, the act of examining the atmosphere that exists within the paranormal community is an attempt at identifying the issues that often arise and disrupt the ability to effectively communicate and share ideas. Finally, in the identification of such issues, it is hoped that change can be induced; a change that will finely free the paranormal community from the chains that bind it to worn out ideas and perceptions.
The freedom of speech and the freedom of expression is, indeed, a double-edged sword: this idea, in conjunction with the speed in which various forms of media allow all individuals to communicate, can produce devastating results. In one sense, it is truly a wonderful age when people that believe in the existence of paranormal activities can share ideas, techniques of study and/or results without the fear of repercussions. Yet, the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression also open the doors to the possibility of expressed hostility or even, persecution.
Seeds of discord lie hidden behind the paranormal community. In fact, individuals who are members of the paranormal community as well as those individuals who are not plant the seeds of discord. Further, such seeds can erupt into anything from inter-group dissension to dissension between separate paranormal groups. Further, such dissension has, in the past, and continues to display itself in myriad ways, from hate mail to forum postings; from complete websites devoted to demeaning other individuals to radio interviews or television shows verbally debasing other paranormal groups or individuals. Why does this sometimes hidden hostility exist? The reasons are many.
One of the biggest reasons for the friction that pulsates through the paranormal community exists in the clash of religious belief systems between individuals and/or groups. As unfortunate as it may be, there is little tolerance in the paranormal community for a differing in religious ideals and it is not uncommon to witness individuals engaging in activities that would serve only to demean those groups or individuals in opposition of their religious beliefs. Thus, there exists a desperate need for religious tolerance among the members of the paranormal community.
Along similar lines, the methods of research and/or the theories that support the ideas of different groups or individuals differ, sometimes in an extreme sense. Further, it is in such differences that seed of chaos and hostility lie and it is not uncommon to see animosities form based on the differences in paranormal investigation techniques used by different groups. Ironically, it is in such differences where answers are found, when enough unique minds work together, no rock is left unturned so to speak and equally unique solutions follow. Therefore, there is a need for a willingness to embrace new ideas, even if one's ideas do not necessarily concur this does not mean one has to conform to another's ideas, but it does mean that one must possess a willingness to allow opposing ideas to freely exist.
Conversely, both fear and ignorance provide an element of hostility both inside and outside of the paranormal community. Even today there are individuals and groups that neither understand nor appreciate the existence of paranormal activity or the groups that research such activity. Thus, it becomes easier to hate something one does not understand rather than embrace it in such a way that might provide tolerance, if not understanding. Further, it is no surprise that fear and ignorance breed contempt as such concepts seem much like a curse on humanity: one that is centuries or even millennia old. Moreover, it is through both fear and ignorance that people attack opposing ideas, beliefs, and the individuals that hold them. Finally, fear and ignorance are not concepts that are solely confined to individuals who disbelieve or refuse to believe in the existence of the paranormal, as some groups or individuals might outright fear or not understand the belief systems of existing paranormal groups. Therefore, it is necessary for members of the paranormal community to set aside any fear they may have of differing ideas, if such fears exist, and it is also imperative that the paranormal community and its members adopt reasoning the refuses to fuel the fires of fear and ignorance.
Skepticism is another reason for the dissonance that emerges within the paranormal community. It is interesting that the very idea of being skeptical can help members of the paranormal community to discern fact from fiction, and to ultimately solidify and even validate their ideas. In addition, skepticism can help clear away no longer useful ideas and help the paranormal community find the truth about paranormal events. Meanwhile, skepticism, whether it is from internal or external sources, can create havoc in the paranormal community. It is not uncommon to see paranormal debates quickly descend into futile arguments and later become nothing more than a ferocious medium for affronting all involved.
Alternatively, due to the fact that members of the paranormal community receive regular attacks via email, postings, websites and other various methods, it is not uncommon to see a paranormal group react to such attacks with various methods of retaliation. In a sense, it is almost understandable; it is natural for people to want to redeem themselves in the face of unwarranted attacks. Yet, despite the fact that the desire to retaliate is understandable, that does not make retaliation acceptable, wrong things done for the right reasons, still make such action wrong. Therefore, when the need to retaliate arises, it becomes necessary for members of the paranormal community to set aside their frustrations, however difficult that process may be. Rumor mills, vicious emails and other forms of attack serve little purpose in the end.
In conclusion, the seeds of discord within the paranormal community truly serve little purpose. While one individual is pitted against another, while one group wastes precious time belittling another for whatever reason, the answers that paranormal researchers seek remain unanswered. Further, the waste of time spent on attacking each other could be far better spent working together to find the answers to paranormal issues. In the end, if we work together instead of separately, if we strive for an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance, the paranormal community will accomplish far more than we ever imagined possible in the way of research.
Article written by: Dayna Winters and Patricia Gardner
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