“The Connection Between Ghosts, UFOs and God” – (Patheos)

I recently read an article that I found had interesting insights on the topic of paranormal and extraterrestrial beliefs of the nonreligious. I was surprised by the findings, and have a few comments of my own.

Here’s an interesting fact: People who are not religious are twice as likely to believe in ghosts and UFOs as those who are religious. It seems that the less religious people are, the more likely they are to endorse ideas about hauntings, UFOs, intelligent aliens monitoring our lives and assorted government conspiracies.

These facts come from a new research study by Pew Research and Clay Routledge, a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. But perhaps most interesting are the conclusions the professor and his colleagues make about how this relates to our search for meaning. Routledge writes:

The less religious the participants were, the less they perceived their lives as meaningful. This lack of meaning (resulted in) a desire to find meaning, which in turn was associated with belief in UFOs and alien visitors.

This made me raise an eyebrow. But it also made a question come to mind.

The researchers seem to have concluded that the perceived meaninglessness of life as perceived by many irreligious people has driven them to find meaning. Apparently in UFO’s, conspiracy, the paranormal (well, aside from deity’s) and other sources.

I have to question if it is less a case of finding meaning than it is a case of just filling the void with another ideology. I wrote a lot in my early days as an atheist expat about the phenomenon of many atheists replacing one religion with another, this happening most often with very devoted religious believers turned atheists. Though the faith and ideology of religion are purged, the frameworks often remain. Hence why you can have the leader of Americas most prominent secular organization aside from the US government (American Atheists) regularly promote black and white dichotomy’s (“People are either theists or atheists, PERIOD!”) as logically and rationally correct.

Anyway, I suspect that embrace of seemingly irrational pursuits like conspiracy theory and the paranormal by irreligious individuals may be yet another branch of this phenomenon. Purging the ideologies of religion, but keeping some of the same frames of mind.

Which is understandable, really. The only thing harder than changing an actual ideology is changing the mindset that allows those like it to fester and conform. Call it a personal life lesson.

There’s just one problem with this. Routledge says that belief in ghosts and UFOS are poor substitutes for religion. While we all need something to believe in, a way to organize and understand the world around us, the researcher points out belief in the paranormal is “not part of a well-established social and institutional support system.” It also “lacks a deeper and historically rich philosophy of meaning.”

That seems rather obvious. Anyone who is going to take the time to read these findings likely either already knows that, or is ideologically blocked from coming to the conclusion.

On a related note, I can think of at least 2 variables that could impact the findings of this study that seem to be missing. One is the length of time in the nonreligious mindset. The other is one’s level of education.

First off, it has to be said that the diversity of people keeps the overly generalized rule of thumb conclusions at bay, in terms of cases like this. That said, however, one should be careful with assigning too much weight to conclusions that may change.

While an initial step away from religiosity may bring people to some interesting places, people may not stay there. It depends on how much time these people want to devote to evaluating these things. And to a degree, ones education also guides where they land.

You can’t really fault someone for not having a “deeper and historically rich philosophy of meaning” if they were never exposed to such pursuits in life.

In The Super Natural, a book about UFOs and alien encounters, Jeffrey J. Kripal writes that “the human species is a mythmaking species. Just as birds instinctively build nests and bees build hives, we “make worlds”, mythical universes to live in. We have no choice. Human beings need meaning, which is to say story, in order to live, much as they need food and air. No human community can live without meaning.”

This need for meaning goes back to the advent of man, when myth was used to explain the world. Just like we never lost the “fight or flight” response, which dates back to prehistoric man fleeing from threats in the wild, we may still possess the need for archetypes, primitive mental images that inhabit our psyche. The renowned psychologist Carl Jung believed we inherited theses archetypes from our earliest human ancestors and that they’re present in the collective unconscious.

To that end, Jung believed that UFOs were in fact “archetypal images” and “involuntary automatic projections.” He wrote that: “UFOs could easily be conceived as “gods.” They are impressive manifestations of totality whose simple, round form portrays the archetype of the self.” When we lose touch with our innermost being, these archetypes make themselves known.

In all honesty, I don’t even know what to do with that. But I can concur that humans need . . . something.

Meaning. A purpose. A reason for being.

For many, the prescribed road maps of society and culture do the trick, right to the end. Others find purpose in the counters to status quos of both society and culture. And some others dwell even beyond that. If the city is society and culture, and the suburbs are the status quo counterculture than these people reside in the far unlit unknown. Where the streets have no name.

People need something to look forward to. Something to get them out of bed in the morning. Otherwise, what is the point?

I am unsure really, where else one could go with this. Because there really is nowhere else to go. There is no advice to give. Those in the city or the suburbs will generally find their way to something compatible.

Those who venture beyond the lighted boarders can find something to. It will just take more legwork and potential trailblazing. And there is nothing wrong with that really. The best inventions and the biggest civilization advances rarely come from the comfortable status quo.

Why Do Some People See Ghosts And Others Don’t?

Today I came across this article in a local paranormal group that I am a part of (partly out of interest, and partly because I am friends with some of the groups founders). This article looks to have been posted back in 2009. But more importantly, it makes some interesting (and quite questionable) claims.

Lets begin.

People seeing ghosts? There may be a genuine mind-body foundation for such anomalous perceptions, according to two researchers, Michael Jawer and Marc Micozzi, MD, PhD. Their book, The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, suggests that sensing a presence, seeing an apparition, or feeling energy around a person or place may be related to the workings of the limbic system — the “emotional brain” — as well as a personality type that rapidly registers feelings.

As surveys consistently show that anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of the public say they’ve had an extra-sensory experience — with nearly 25% of respondents stating they’ve actually seen or felt a ghost — anomalous perceptions are nothing to shrug off. “People have had these experiences down the ages and across all cultures,” comments Micozzi, a physician and anthropologist. “They’re quite universal. What we’ve begun to document is that there’s a certain type of person most likely to experience them.

And right off the bat, I am skeptical. Because nothing is being said (with the exception of the proposed theory) that is not already obvious to even the casual observer of all things paranormal.

A good chunk of respondents to a survey say they they have seen a ghost, or otherwise had a paranormal experience. That is not at all surprising. Because I am thinking that if one asked many of these individuals questions such as if they believe in some form of a god or if they thought that some form of conspiracy theory was true, you would likely get overlap.

This does not invalidate the claims of paranormal “experience”. But it does shed some light on how the person personally defines “evidence”. In fact, in many cases, the language utilized is a giveaway to how the person defines evidence. Which is important if you want a good “scientific” survey that is not skewed by questionable results.

Well, many will always view the results of such a survey as questionable. This is completely understandable (when it comes to this topic, I border very close to that edge in terms of my skepticism). However, the follow up questions on both deity and conspiracy theory are a good way to test how people perceive claims without external evidence to back them up.

Let me explain.

No matter what may (or may not) be the cause of a paranormal experience, such experiences have a real notable impact on a person. You see something, you hear something, you feel something. Indeed this is nothing more then anecdotal and circumstantial “evidence”, but it is more then what is often associated with conspiracy theory or a deity.

Now to the other part of the quote, the bit about there being a certain type of person who is likely to have a paranormal experience. Again, this adds nothing new to the field. We already know that some people are apparently /allegedly more “sensitive” to this sort of thing, and that most of these people also happen to be self diagnosed.

That person is environmentally sensitive, according to Jawer, an expert on the condition known as Sick Building Syndrome. “Our data show that anomalous perceptions parallel other forms of environmental sensitivity, such as having pronounced or longstanding allergies, migraine headache, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, irritable bowel, even synesthesia (overlapping senses) and heightened sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell. Women make up three-quarters of this sensitive population but there are other markers as well: being ambidextrous, for instance, or recalling a traumatic childhood. The more we look at the people who say they’re psychic, or who have recurring anomalous experience, the more it seems there’s a mix of nature and nurture that predisposes them.”

First off all, what is sick building syndrome?

The NIH defines it simply as nonspecific symptoms happening to various occupants of a building. This is often accompanied by an increase in absenteeism and a decrease in worker productivity. A cause is often impossible to locate. Many environmental factors are cited as potential causes.

Apparently the claim here is that there is a paranormal equivalent to sick building syndrome. This is also nothing new. Many claim that traumatic events leave an “imprint” on a room, object or even an area of land. And not very many people can pick up this “energy”.

So far, we have nothing more then a borrowed scientific term to attempt to explain something that seems similar.

The researchers posit that brain and body are effectively unified — a perspective taken by the pioneering field of psychoneuroimmunology — and that highly sensitive people react more strongly than others to what they’re feeling as well as to incoming environmental stimuli. This raises the possibility, Jawer and Micozzi assert, that subliminal feelings and other environmental nuances could be picked up by individuals who are sufficiently sensitive. A reputedly “haunted” place, therefore, could exhibit stimuli that register more with certain people and less with others.

– See more at: http://disinfo.com/2009/10/why-do-some-people-see-ghosts-while-others-dont/#sthash.BfPG3U2f.dpuf

First of all, psychoneuroimmunology. That is a term that I have never heard before, and I don’t even know if I could say it properly. So lets look into it. The first thing Google tells us is this:

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body.

The NIH has this to say about the field:

Psychoneuroimmunology is a relatively new field of study that investigates interactions between behaviour and the immune system, mediated by the endocrine and nervous systems.

I have no idea how this terminology is in any way related to the paranormal. Besides as being just another scientific term borrowed because it seems to “fit”.

I decided to see what I could find by throwing the term “paranormal” in with the search query. The first page of note is this one on a topic called “epigenetics”. This one activated my BS detector right off the bat with this opening paragraph:

The area of scientific study so often referred to as “pseudo-science” continues to get mainstream attention as time after time very interesting results capture the minds and hearts of those who think there is more to our world than meets the eye. While not completely understood yet, it appears the common label of “pseudo-science” is more of a defense mechanism of dogmatic scientists than it is a legitimate claim. After all, in the spirit of science, a theory holds true until we can prove it wrong via the scientific method.

Well then.

Experiments Evaluating Thoughts On Water

There have been experiments in the past that closely monitored the potential of our thoughts as they affect reality. One of the most well known experiments was conducted by Dean Radin, Ph.D., who is the Chief Scientist at IONS and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University.[1] The experiment was done to measure how intention alone affects water crystal formation. Co-Investigators were Masaru Emoto, a Japanese energy scholar and author along with a few other researchers and scientists.

The experiment tested the hypothesis that water exposed to distant intentions affects the aesthetic rating of ice crystals formed from that water. Results showed that the test was consistent with a number of previous studies suggesting that intention may be able to influence the structure of water.

Alright, that is enough of that. . .

There is a forum post that attempts to associate it with the concept of “Chi”.

And then there is this PDF on the subject, sourced from one of the people quoted in the article. I see nothing really useful within it (I suspect that one would need to hear the corresponding speech to make more sense of it). None the less, I have come to my conclusion.

Nothing has been proven. All I see is the hijacking of 2 otherwise legitimate scientific terms,  for use in a “scientific hypothesis” which makes no sense at all. I would go as far as to saying that the terms only seem to be there to bolster the  credibility of the “theory”.
For a certain segment of people, they see a couple of big (or legitimate sounding) words and think “Well, that sounds valid”.

Unfortunately however,  I am not one of those people. And I am not afraid to call bullshit on this article, and the theory behind it.

I Hate “Ghost Hunting” Shows

Ghost

First off, I have to make a stipulation.

My views of the Ghost Hunting segment of reality television are not exactly akin to my views on the paranormal itself. Though this is a subject that tends to mainstream on the fringes (most either absolutely believe, or know for a fact its all a load of crap), I am apt to be on neither side. If there were a word that I would use to describe my stance, it would be “agnostic” as coined by William L Rowe (Someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God. Or in this case, the paranormal).

I also have to acknowledge that the “paranormal” is an umbrella term for a great many phenomenons (even the “god” question, since it falls into the domain of the supernatural). And they are not all equal in terms of, how seriously they should be taken. For example, though mediumship is in the same category, I have written before about why I think that most psychics and mediums are completely full of crap.

Ghosts and other such phenomenons, occur (or can occur) outside of the context of the human mindset. One can write off with some certainty many (most?) paranormal phenomenons that are based around human influence due to misunderstanding, dishonesty and other factors. But phenomenons that are independent of the human mind (such as ghosts), should have more consideration.

However, one has to take biased mindsets into account. Speaking of biased mindsets, time to move on to Why I Hate Ghost Hunting Shows.

Intro

I used to watch (even enjoy) watching some of these ghost shows. Though Ghost Hunters is the most recent example of a show I enjoyed (well, ONCE enjoyed), there have been many over the years. I have read many books on the subject, on both regional and far away stories. And I have heard my fair share of ghost stories over the years, to various degrees of believability. I even had a bit of a “spooky” incident of my own, described in a previous post about the Paranormal written a couple years ago (it may or may not reflect my current stances, being the amount of time that has passed since then).

The subject always has interested and to a degree, fascinated me. For the same reason that it does for so many other people (its an unknown, unexplored and misunderstood realm).
That said, though ghost hunting shows found their way into the mainstream by way of attempting to put an end to the ambiguity of the phenomenon of ghosts and the paranormal, most (all?) are TERRIBLE at the job for various reasons.

The Biased Entry

This one can split into 2 parts.

First, you have the bias that comes from knowing exactly what to look for. Then you have the bias that is, your mind knowing what you are going to find.

These shows all seem to start in the same way. First you get an overview of the location that will be under investigation. You learn the history of the location and the surrounding areas (which includes notable past traumatic events or uses of the building, such as fires, suicides or if the place was an asylum or other such facility).

Then you will have the walk though with the buildings owner or other representative of the property. They take you on the “spooky” tour of the place, telling you where notable past events have occurred and where people have allegedly experienced mysterious phenomenon. The ghost hunting team then uses that data as a guide to where to set up, whatever equipment that they intend to utilize that evening (there is a HUGE number of different devices that I have seen deployed).

And we arrive at my first problem with such shows. The problem that is, bias of conclusion.

1.)

One of the big problems with paranormal investigation, is the human brain itself. The more information you absorb on what COULD happen (what you COULD see or experience), the higher the chance that you WILL experience such phenomenon.
A great example of this (for me personally) is from the show Mystery Quest, in an episode about hauntings similar to the Amityville NY haunting of Hollywood infamy. A famous photograph was shown on the screen at first with no explanation. And I was initially confused as to what I was looking at.
Until the narrator mentioned the presence of a little boy in the photo, which suddenly made ME see the little boy. The person I was watching the show with seen the boy even before it was mentioned, but I attribute this to a life long interest in the paranormal (having read many books on the topic, they likely seen the famous image previously).

It is this same phenomenon that makes me critical of the practice of educating a group of investigators as to the alleged activities in a location, then having the same team do the investigation.
Sure, I see shows where so called “personal experiences” that happen to one part of the group in one location are hidden from the others who later enter the same location (who often have similar experiences). But that is not good enough, since the whole team is already biased by KNOWING exactly what happens. All “personal experiences” are tainted by this bias.

2.) 

I hate seeing shows do an investigation based ONLY around the history of a location.

For example, say there is an allegedly haunted house that had a past fire in 1908, and a suicide in 1946. 2 died in the fire, and 1 by suicide, leaving 3 seemingly obvious suspects in the “haunting”. So the team enters, does its investigation, but only attempts to make contact with the 3. Not taking into account that the “hauntings” could  originate from the old couple that passed away peacefully in the home in 1985. Individuals of which, may not feel obligated to “make contact”, since your not even looking for them.
Or of which may be mildly annoyed, on account to a bunch of idiots in “their” house asking stupid questions and freaking out every time the refrigerator kicks in.

Investigating To An Agenda 

By this, I mean shows with teams that go in with the goal of “proving” a location to be haunted. Or to otherwise prove the existence of, whatever phenomenon they happen to be covering that episode.

When it comes to this aspect, I have to admit that not all ghost hunting shows are equal. Despite the amusing meme that i opened this post with, I have to give Ghost Hunters (and Ghost Hunters International) credit for not operating to this end (or at least, I do not pick up that vibe). Its something that I watch for, particularly in the intro to the shows. If I hear “were here to prove the existence of the paranormal”, then it is an automatic red flag for me.

I may have this screwed up, but to me, the job of a true “investigator” should be first to debunk, and otherwise just gather. Do not go in LOOKING to prove something. Because chances are your brain will turn whatever you find into “evidence” of the paranormal.
A problem that is only amplified when this methodology is combined with the problem of using biased investigators to investigate a location.

Using Mediums In Investigations 

This one ties into my “Investigating to an agenda” paragraph a bit , in that many of the shows that set off that said red flag often end up utilizing mediums in their investigations. If not within the investigations themselves, then in the preparation procedures (to see where the “energies” are strongest).

They are often funny to watch, because it is painfully obvious how often their “readings” are just generalized presumptions based on factors of the location and its surrounding area.

For example, in a warehouse in a heavily industrialized area with a past record of a refinery explosion that killed 3, the medium apparently “felt” at least 2 men present. Such a shock, given demographics of past (and present) industrial workers.

Then there was one doing a walk though in a slaughter house turned bar, with a history of murder. Of course the medium picked up on the presence of “rivers of blood”, along with the “presence” of the murdered spirit.

Then there was another doing a tour of an Indian reservation and burial ground somewhere in the US. She apparently said she felt a feeling of “injustice and great pain”, which invoked strong emotion in some present.
That one actually pissed me off.

But moving on, I know that the main reason why this trick works is because of the fringe nature of many paranormal believers. One who has already been convinced, does not need a high bar of evidence to be further convinced. None the less however, the next time you see a medium doing a “reading” on one of these shows, try and determine if the information is just conformation to the surroundings, or to the history of the facility (and/or its surroundings).

Misinterpretation Of (At Best) Circumstantial Evidence 

Again, not all ghost hunting shows seem to be equal in this regard. I again acknowledge Ghost Hunters and GHI as being fairly careful in this regard.

However, I have seen some examples that are just, terrible. Lets take an episode of Mystery Quest I seen last night.

There was an investigation involving some manor in rural California. The place was seemingly abandoned and fairly isolated, no electrical power coming into the place or nearby. One method of investigation was utilizing some sort of military grade intrusion detection system to keep track of any vibrations on the ground outside.

It was noted that one of the detectors started to pick up vibrations in the ground outdoors. After seeing this for a few minutes, a team is sent out to “investigate” (check if there is a person outside). They find no one, and chalk it up to some sort of electro magnetic field “entering” the house.
Something that I was amused by, being that as they were outside looking around, the tail lights of passing vehicles on a fairly nearby roadway could be seen.

Inside the same house, a team investigating on an upper floor is said to have had an experience with a spirit though contact with a loud and obnoxious (I believe) EMF detector.  The show seemed fairly confident in the reading, being that the home was away from most of civilization’s baseline EMF sources (electrical power).
However, I am not quite as confident to make that judgment call, being that EMF is not just generated by AC powered devices. Though the house is not electrified, the team has plenty of battery powered gadgetry. It would likely have to be close by, but one example I can think of as a possibility is a walkie talkie. Another is a mobile phone.

I have mentioned the mobile phone thing to paranormal hunters that I know personally, and they suspect the contribution of most modern handsets to be very low (compared to models of years past). One thing I wonder however, is if that is a finding based only on a mobile phone with excellent to good base station reception (in a city or other well served area).
This I acknowledge, because this home is in a rural area.  Rural areas tend to have less base stations situated further apart. Meaning that phones communicating in not so good to fringe coverage areas, likely have to boost their power output (and thus, their EMF output).

Just a hunch.

After having purchased an EMF detector and testing it in proximity to my then smartphone under a few modes of operation (idle, phone call, text, data, wifi etc), I can confirm that what feild the devices create didn’t even register on the unit. The only time the phone created a detectable feild was when it was plugged in and charging. A normal behavier of any applience plugged into electrical power. 

I did not test walkie-talkies, CB radios or other potential non-AC based EMF feild manipulators, however.

Another incident (in this some house) was in an upstairs bedroom. A thermal camera picked up an allegedly “pulsating” cluster of heat in a wall very close to a window. Since it was  the wee hours of the morning, it was assumed to be a “vortex” (a portal for spirits beyond to apparently, enter our world).

That in itself is hilarious.

Not even considering the possibility of non-spooky alternatives. One being residual heat from the sun in an object that is in (or on) the outside wall (a brick?). Or an animal that found a nice cozy place to sleep (pulsating = breathing?).

Conclusion 

When it comes to the paranormal, I am still (and likely always will be) on the fence. I can not rule out what I can not prove. But I also can not be sure of what I can not confirm. An intellectual enigma.

One thing I do know for sure however, is that I can not watch ghost hunting shows. They just, hurt.

Mom’s A Medium – Seriously?!

Its 2am and in killing time before bed, I found myself watching “Wife Swap” on CMT (I know . . . Trash tv is hard to kick!).

Either way, cut to the first commercial break, and CMT airs a spot for a show called “Mom’s A Medium”. On an upcoming episode, a country star is reportedly brought to tears by his reading.

I had to resist the urge to throw the iPhone though my TV set . The stupid of this spot, hurt (mostly because I whacked myself in the head with the remote).

Its 2014, and people SERIOUSLY are still falling for this shit?! As stupid of a question as that is, its none the less, frustrating.

Google has been around for a number of years, social media in its many past and present forms going on around a decade (give or take). If people do not know by now, the internets power of being a provider of ALL SORTS of information (including how to fake mediumship, and a HUGE source of personal information on almost anyone), then I do not know how to drive the point home further.

Which brings me, to the meat of the issue. Awhile ago I wrote about psychics, after having found out that a member of our family, had seemingly been duped by one. I had big suspicions, not just because of the “mediumship” (or the fact that the family member and the person were longtime friends). But mostly, because our family history is fully available on publicly accessible search portals.

On account to both social media and various additions to our family tree on various ancestry oriented sites, one can learn almost anything, with a simple google search.

I was even surprised and amazed to get hits from searching my grandfathers name (who passed away in 1998, and never ONCE had ANY direct interaction with the internet).
A facebook group created by family. Various bits and pieces from ancestry websites.

Oh yeah, this whole psychic “obsession” within my family started when my grandfather (same as above) apparently “dropped by” during a free reading with my aunt.

But, this post goes to show, that even my small and largely unknown family from the middle of Canada, has a fairly extensive publicly available digital footprint.

None of us are even CLOSE, to being “famous” in any sense. This blog, so far as I know, is the closest thing to public exposure we have. And thats not a whole lot lol.
No one, really, has any reason to dig into our past.

Unlike, a celebrity. For example, an up and coming country star. A star with fans and press hungry for all the details of his existence, who all will scoop up everything they can find, and share it in all sorts of easily accessible digital locations.

If a psychic reading on any of my family members could EASILY be influenced by publicly available information, then it would seem almost a certainty that any celebrity of ANY status, would have a “heavily influenced” reading.

Yet, apparently not. Not only does this still work, but it STILL draws enough of an audience to warrant a television series.

I used to feel bad for people that fall for this sort of thing. Especially for those that were duped out of cash. But at this point, im starting to think, to bad for you.

The materials to warn and educate yourself against these tricks, are freely available. Hell, some of the materials are in your own head (use common sense!).
If you still choose to be ignorant and disable your sense of logic, then there is nothing anyone can do for you. We can just hope that learning the hard way, will do the trick.

Astro-Clairvoyant “Chris” Comes To Canada

I got a bit of a surprise in the mail today.

Most of it is the typical that I am used to receiving. A message from a local politician. A safeway flyer (they always mail one a day in advance of the bundle of flyers that comes tomorrow). An ad for a local eyeglass place. And an unstamped and unmarked envelope with a simple generic message:

Dropped this off as I was passing by . . . Take just 3 minutes of your time to read this letter. It will be worth it and I think it will be of real interest to you

CR (<– I assume)

The message was printed on the front of the envelope in blue ink, in a hand written type font.

The envelope made me curious, but that was it. I figured it might have been from a door to door charity person, a survey from a local business or something of the nature (AKA junk mail), so I just put it in the house with the rest of the mail and went out to run a few errands.

Then I got back home, and opened the rest of my mail (much of it now in the blue box. That is where the majority of it ends up). Then I got this the “mystery” envelope.  I  was correct in my assumption of it being junk mail. But the contents surprised me.

WANTED

I am looking for 100 people
to help for free
before next friday>>
and who would like to receive $75…

Interesting. Do tell me more . . .

CHRIS

Clairvoyant medium,
specialist in visions of
love and money

Oh boy. . .

I have received flyers and leaflets from the Mormons and other churches, but this is a first. But I read on, curious. This was certainly out of the ordinary.

*cue spooky music*

If you have problems with money or love, I would like to help you. All absolutely free.

Why?

I am currently writing a book on the countless changes that occur suddenly in peoples lives
immediately after they have received my help. In order to finish my book and prove irrefutably the
intensity of the secret powers that I, alone, posses, I am offering to help people like you, who have
an urgent problem in money or love to solve, all absolutely free
I just ask that you let me know as soon as your problem has been solved. You only need to send me a
little letter indicating how long it took for your problem to be resolved and how it happened.
If your story is chosen as one of the testimonies to be published in my book, I will send you $75 to thank you.
Of course, neither your first or your surname will be used. Only your initials will be given to respect your privacy
and protect the confidentiality of our relationship. You see, as an astro-clairvoyant, an expert in
telepathic research, I am astonished by the letters I receive every day, to see how sad people are when
it would take so little to transform their lives into happiness and prosperity.

Well, this is quite the situation we have here.

They will give me $75 for “helping” to prove that this guy “CHRIS” no last name has secret, intense powers. Secret, intense powers, that can apparently help me find love and get rich.

He certainly seems to say that he has the right credentials, being an “astro-clairvoyant” and an “expert” in telepathic research and analysis. But you do not just have to base your opinion off of his word alone. He has a testimonial!

Just as it did for Agnes C., a young women, just 39 years old, who had some serious financial problems.
Take a look at her testimony. It is incredible: “Up until last May, my husband and I had been having
tough times for years, and it was only getting worse with each passing day. Our money problems kept
accumulating and I was not able to make ends meat anymore. Then, to top it all off, my husband
got laid off

But the worst was yet to come …

I think I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. One morning, a bailiff knocked at the door, ready
with eviction papers. What a shock! I could see myself in the street with my 2 children in my
arms. I cried all day. I just could not stop.

At this point, they have a photo of I am guessing “Agnes” smiling and happy, with im guessing her daughter on her lap. It is a nice touch, to compliment the previous bit and help tug to the heart strings. Only thing,  it looks like the daughter is picking her nose. Which is fucking HILARIOUS.

Then on May 7, everything really changed for me…

Our sweet neighbors gave us a head of lettuce from their garden. It was wrapped in newspaper. I unwrapped
the lettuce and the newspaper must have been lying flat on the kitchen table for a good ten minutes when
an article caught my eye. it was a report on an unusual clairvoyant. He was kindly offering to help
people that had serious problems. Like me. Chris had a strange power that could quickly – overnight
in fact – change the lives of all those who agreed his free help. But I was still skeptical.

Good for you.

That is a good way to interpret an article like that in the newspaper. Or on the internet. Or in a random envelope that arrives in the mail.

One (important) detail made me take it seriously, though . . .
This was not the first time I was reading an article on a clairvoyant. In fact, I had already been to see
a few psychics in the hopes of seeing my situation turn around, Unfortunately, nothing had ever really
changed for me.
And a little voice inside my head kept saying, “You are not going to fall into that trap again and believe a bunch
of nonsense like the last time …”

Excellent.

You learned from your past  mistake. That easy money is but a pipe dream. And that psychics, are almost 99.9% guaranteed, to be completely and totally, full of shit.

Good for you.

Wait, you took it seriously? I am seriously confused.

That was when something struck me: Before he gave the lettuce, my neighbor surely had to have read that
newspaper article. Otherwise, how could he have been able to buy those two new cars?…And how could he
have gone on holiday 5 times this year?…And what about his wife that goes to the hair dresser at least once
a week?…How can all those changes in their lives be explained, especially when they have all come about 
so suddenly? Because it was not long ago, that they were just like us, after all…
Then there were the authentic testimonies from all those people. That is what ultimately convinced me.
Their lives had changed radically thanks to Chris’s intervention. Some of them said they had won a huge 
sum of money at the lottery. Others said they had experienced true love after going though absolute 
despair. All of them had been rid of their problems fast. 

*shakes head*

WHAT?!

This started out so well, you started out on a good track. How the HELL, did you end up HERE?!

I am guessing that your neighbors did read, or at least glance at, the article you were talking of. I have no doubt about it (I would read something like that). But my guess is that, they had the same reaction to it that I would . . .

“What the fuck is this shit?!”.

Your basing the assumption of your neighbors good fortune on, them going to see/communicating with some random stranger from a news article?!
Its not possible, that one or both, got a good job? Got some sort of inheritance or windfall?
How do you know, one of then is not some sort of high ranking embezzler? Or a theif? Or a fraudster/banker? (HA!) Or a drug pedaler?

Did you ever think, to just ASK?!

They must be very “sweet” people indeed, if they do not let you in on any details whatsoever, when it comes to their lives.

And the testimonials. Oh, the awesome and detailed testimonials.

All the people had come to Chris, in the most terrible situation that they have ever been in their LIVES. And because of his “intervention”, some found monetary freedom. And others found love and happiness, thus concluding the shitty part of their lives. And, most importantly, all of them had been rid of their problems, FAST.

Fast, like a lightning bolt. Or fast, like complete glacial ice melt in  the scale of geologic time. Well, that is certainly a huge window of variation. Between mere seconds, and around 60 to 100 years. Do tell me more. I plan on NOT being fucked, for as much of my life as I can, if I can help it.

Not to mention, all these words, and no filler. What exactly does this Chris do? Of course, besides write articles in newspapers, and send random testimonial sheets to people. Like me.

So I asked myself, “Why not me?”…

After all, is Chris was able to make all those people so lucky, why would he not be able to do the same
thing for me? In any case, I was not risking a thing in giving it a try. It was absolutely free.
So I immediately filled in the form at the bottom of the page and sent it in with a photo of me. I could
not wait to hear back. Every day, I was on the lookout for the postman.
Finally, on May 17, I received a big, white envelope. I quickly opened it. Let me tell you, I was not 
expecting to recieve what I did. Chris had already studied my case. It revealed in incredible detail
certain facts about my past. And it announced some great events for my future. Plus, he had already
done a special stopgap measure so that everything could work out in my life straight away…

I am impressed. I really am. This “Chris” fellow, knows. He has the POWER.

He has, THE POWER. . . . of the internet, and his imagination.

The best thing about this, is how you give no details, as to what “Chris” seen in your past. Not that it matters much.
Because with a Google search, it is possible to build up a huge profile on a person. And the person may not even realize how much of their info is “out there”.
Consider all the various public web services that you have used. Not just the current social networks and such that you use, but ALL OF THEM that you have EVER used. If you did not delete those profiles, those forum posts, those blog entries, and all other posts scattered around the web, they are still there. And as such, sifting though it, can tell a lot about a person.

Not to mention, knowing what has happened in a person’s past, can be a pretty good predictor of what lies in their future. For example, if someones schooling and college classes primarily surround biology, then chances are they are not going to grow up as an accountant. Otherwise known as, pulling stuff out of his ass.

Come on, your almost 40. You had to have heard about, at least in concept, the internet. How it is a giant pool of all sorts of information.

And, “stopgap measure”.

WHAT?!

The very next day, the first unexpected event took place…

My husband’s former colleague offered him a job. He had been unemployed for months,
unable to find anything, and this was an extraordinary chance. Not only that, but
the salary was great and it was just down the street from us. We could not believe it…

Neither can I.

The second event was just as surprising…

When I was very young, I had had a son with my first husband. He had been living abroad
with his father, and I had not heard from him in years. it was one of my most cherished wishes
to see him again. A few days later, i received a letter from him asking if he could come see me
with his wife. He told me that I was going to be a grandmother. Can you believe it? At 39!

Oh, I can believe it.

Give me a break. An old co worker of your husband stops by, to offer him a good paying job. No chance of him knowing your husband is available, and just happening to have an opening at that time. It MUST be Chris.
And there is NO chance that your other son had just HAPPENED to find out the good news at around the same time you wrote “Chris”, it is not a coincidence.

And, your a grandmother at 39. Congrats. I know guys that are my age (25), and they already have one or 2 kids. One I know, already has 3 kids. People are popping em out earlier and earlier, and more and more. Unfortunately for our already strained and polluted biosphere.
But why would that matter to YOU. Your  the one testifying to the credibility of an “astro clairvoyant”.

Then…Well, just take a look! Its incredible!

Every day, things seemed to just work themselves out. Life was completely different. I would
get up in the morning full of hope, excited to start the day. Everything was going well my husband
with his new job and he was in a good mood again. And I was, too…

It is indeed, incredible.

Your husband got a great new job, and you have a long lost son coming to visit that will soon make you a grandmother. In my mind, those are very much positive events in any context. Meaning, even without this “Chris” fellow in your life, im thinking that these would be good days for you.

Enjoy the event timings, for the coincidences that they are. Stop giving this “Chris” asshole credit, for doing nothing.

That is when the most wonderful thing of all happened…

Without mentioning a thing to me, my husband had bought a lottery ticket. He was always
saying, “Oh! What’s the point? I’m never lucky anyway…” And for the first time in his life
he pocketed a tidy little sum…Let me tell you, it gave us quite a little nest egg…
He is not at all the type to believe this kind of thing, but he had to admit, “We’ve been
so lucky ever since you wrote to that clairvoyant Chris. It can’t be a coincidence…”

DUN DUN DUUUN.

You Win.

I am the overly skeptical asshole that should just chill the fuck out and open my mind.

Chris be praised.

0_o

But I think it was when I was able to pay off all our debts that I realized how much our
situation had changed. I did not owe anyone anymore money, and I still had some money to see 
me though for some time. It was the first time in my life that had happened…

Well, to hell with the kids. They are fine. And to hell with the husband, who is out there MAKING the money.

You have money Agnes. be happy.

Today, I have agreed to write about this and have my story published because ever since
things changed so radically, I have been thinking about all those unlucky people and
all their problems. And I tell myself that if Chris was able to help me and my husband
like that, he could surely do a lot for other people, too.
So if you have problems in your life, do not hesitate to do what I did. Ask Chris for
help. You are not risking a thing. his help is free…And I can tell you, you will
not regret it.”

Agnes C.

Well, that was really something, wasn’t it folks?

A lady who I can only imagine was a stay at home mom, who started out on the path to “easy” money though questionable (or “unconventional”) means, found a clairvoyant to fit their needs.

And lets remember that it was not the hard work (and the past reputation) of the husband that got him that great job that has them rolling in the doe, giving HER money to spend. It was all “Chris”.

Oh, and that bit in the end about feeling bad for all the “Unlucky” people out there. That is such a typical greedy, western world reaction. Don’t send them to this “Chris” asshole and feel better about yourself!
Take some of that “Good luck” money, and donate it to charity.
There is nothing that bugs me more then self righteous assholes with the means, that make a choice to “contribute” help to a situation by way of some useless gesture. Like praying, or liking a fake “charitable” post (“for every like, __________ will donate $1 to _________ !), or shit like this.

If there is one thing that the whole “testimonial” did not do, it was tell us anything about “Chris”, nor about his abilities. Hell, it didn’t tell us ANYTHING at all. If credibility is earned by way of ability to fact check, then its a whole lot of crap.

On the front, there seems to be a small “profile” of this “Chris”, written by another source. Or in the 3ed person. Judge for yourself (its unsigned or credited).

Chris has devoted his entire life to helping the poor, the underprivileged and the marginalized.
Most of those people had been desperate cases. The growing difficulties they had come to face
in their lives had gradually destroyed them, leaving them little hope of ever finding a way out
of their horrible situations. But to their great surprise, their lives turned around, virtually overnight.

One thing is certain: This man has not only “secret” know-how, but also an exceptional gift, a
vision and ability to transmit thought. As he puts it, he is able to enter into “spiritual communication”
with other people. That ability is extremely rare – he is the only one we know with that particular gift –
and it apparently allows him to feel intently and at exactly the same time, what the person he is in
contact with telepathically is feeling. In addition, his incredible visions – in particular when it comes
to money – allow him to project himself into someones past, present and future and to  see the often
unexpected solution to the person’s main problem.

That is the most ridicules claim that I have ever read. Give me a FUCKING break.

Honestly, when someone has a “gift” so rare that apparently NO ONE else has it, “rare” is not the word I would use to describe it. “Fake” or “Crock of shit” works just as well.

And look at that ability. He can “tune” into your thoughts, and see your past, your present and apparently, your future. That is not only the stupidest thing I have EVER read, but that is the creepiest thing I have ever read.

I mean, think about it. This man can “see” into your past, your present, and your future. All based on something that you wrote on a piece of paper that you mailed to him in Old Bethpage, New York. He could be a huge asset for an organization like the CIA or the NSA.

Imagine full access to someones ENTIRE life. Not just digital scraps and metadata, but thoughts and memories. It would be impossible to lie. AND theoretically, possible to predict future crimes before they happen. Imagine the possibilities!

Also, the reply envelope included (notably with no postage) is addressed:

CHRIS
696 Old Bethpage Road, #297
Old Bethpage,  New York,
11804
USA

So “Chris” just HAPPENED to be stopping by my neighborhood in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. A likely story.

But let us continue with this “Chris” resume of skillz.

Whether it is a problem concerning money, love or bad luck, nothing and no one can bring happiness as
quickly and long-lastingly into someone’s life as the hapiness he can bring to yours.

When asked about the incredible “gift” which allows him to bring others happiness, Chris prefers to
speak about his complete dedication to each individual he helps and about his personal quest for know-how.

His background speaks for itself: at the age of 20, he became the youngest professional in his field in Europe.
At the same time, he began to do experimental studies on hypnosis and on parapsychological
phenomena such as telepathy. Then he had his series of “firsts” in the world: the first experience of
collective telepathy (with an audience of 50,000), hypnosis though television (2 million subjects asleep),
all crowned with success. he still continues his rounds at conference and his research to understand the
mysteries of the human mind and the benefits of paranormal practices to mankind.

Every day he receives more and more requests. His countless achievements attest to the wide
range of his powers. For him, nothing is impossible when it comes to helping his fellow man.
And what he has done for others, he can do for you, too.

How about that,  folks. Nothing is impossible or over the top, when it comes to helping his fellow sheep . . . OPPS! I mean man.

The amount of words, conveying so much nothing, is truly amazing. There is the claim of “collective telepathy” with an audience of 50,000. Hell, that is around 3/4’s of the populace of the city I live in. Not to mention, how is that even supposed to work?
If we look to the above explanation of his “powers”, we know that he can get into your mind. He individually goes in, and searches your past, present AND future, for solutions to your every problem.

And, to go back to a comment from “Agnes” earlier in her “testimonial”, he can institute a “stopgap measure”. No where is that explained. So the only thing I can think of, is that “Chris” can change your future. Thats pretty damn wild!

Now, back to the collective telepathy thing. Is it that he “connected” to 50,000 people, all at the same time? Or that he did 50,000 single “connections”?
When it came to the first choice (collective), one would wonder what would be to gain, besides bragging rights. And as for the other (single connections), think about how long that would take. Even if he didn’t “help” them all in any way, just focusing on each of the 50,000, would take a LONG time.

Then there is the hypnosis by television, where apparently he put 2 million subjects to sleep.

These are all, some pretty damn good feats.If I were responsible for all these world firsts, I would not hesitate to share them with the world either. And I would not hesitate to show evidence of all these feats.

But, wait, good point. Where is the evidence for any of this?

Having a crowd of 50,000 at your clairvoyant disposal is quite a feat. That also entails quite the venue. Why is it that we have to not know the venue? Or for that matter, WHERE this took place geographically.

His “bio” says that he was a professional from a young age in Europe, so I am under the assumption that is where “Chris” was born. But the mailing information, is a US address. So I am assuming that he also has US connections or a residence.
Did this event happen the Us, in Europe, or somewhere else?

Now to the next crowning achievement on his list, the mass hypnosis of 2 million television viewers.

Once again, were only given “meta data” of the event.

What network or networks did this program air on? In what country, or what countries? And how did you KNOW that 2 million people were indeed, “asleep” at the hand of your techniques?

One wonders why there is a need to hide all this information. Could it be because, listings of things like venue names or television networks, would make it to easy to “verify” the information? Why do you not want us to verify it?

Since I have retyped this whole damn thing word for word (at the expense of much time. My scanner was not working), I may as well include a small “personal message” from “Chris”.

Personal Message From Chris

Do you really think you are different from other people?
That you do not have the right to your share of happiness?
That people with everything are better than you? NO!
So why do they have everything and you do not?
There is a simple reason for that, but no one has
ever told you before! Just send me your first name,
Surname, address and a photo of you in response 
to this ad, and I will send you a free Clairvoyance report.

It will reveal the secret to the supernatural laws, as well
as well as the secret behind your own hidden powers.
Plus, it will contain some key information that will
help you transform your life.

All this is Absolutely free.

Just send me your first name, surname,
address and a photo of you (I will return it to you)
and fill in the form below.

your friend,

*signature*

 Well this whole sheet has been quite insightful. We learned of this fellow “Chris” who has supernatural powers, about how he is selfless in his usage of said powers in helping people overcome adversity, free of charge. We learned a new termonology, “Astro Clairvoyant”, and that “Chris” is an expert in the field. He is such an expert, that he is the only one at the moment with his skill set. Out of all the humans making tracks on this planet, “Chris” is it.
And we learned that “Chris” has many accomplishments that he is proud to share with us.

In fact, “Chris” is so selfless and sure of his power, that he is willing to PAY YOU $75, just for taking the time to allow him to “telepathically” lock onto you, and change your life for the better.

This seems like a great guy.

Well, this is interesting. I just spotted a tiny bit of fine print along the boarder of the right hand side of page 2 of his “ad”. It reads:

GUARANTEES AND INFORMATION: In accordance with the “Data protection Act”
you have the right to access and correct any information held concerning you. In the
absence of your refusal, this information may be used by third parties.

I have to admit, that with the intensity that I have been studying this advertisement, it was only by accident that I noted this little bit of fine print, just now. If I have been looking at this page for hours and missed it, then its a safe bet to think that many people will miss it all together. Especially those swept up by the “powers” of “Chris”.

I had been reading this whole thing, trying to figure out what possible motive one would have, for sending such a letter. paying $75, for a testimonial? This has ALL the earmarks (including playing into the thought processes of the gullible, greedy and lazy) of a scam of some sort.
This little disclaimer tells me that your not worth as much as your INFORMATION is. By sending him info, this fine print gives “Chris” the okay to share (and sell) it all as he pleases. $75 to you? Hell, thats probably pocket change compared to the cash that could be made selling you.

But I am not done yet.

I still have curiosities that this piece has not satisfied. So I will make use of humanities best tool in the fight against lies and mis-truths, the internet. Primarily, a  search engine.

My first curiosity, was with the term “Astro Clairvoyant”, which is a term I had never heard before. And it seems that I am not alone. Google only had one website that mentioned it by definition. As it turns out, a blog entry by an Astro Clairvoyant in Las Vegas named Narah Guide.

Norah

http://www.norahastrologer.com/norah-astrologer/norah-guide-discusses-the-difference-between-clairvoyants-telepaths-and-empaths/#more-293

The screen capture is just an excerpt of a longer piece, but the goods are in the 2ed paragraph from the bottom.

In my initial search of the terms “Astro Clairvoyant” (without “definition” added) I was linked to a number of sites pertaining to this Narah women, but also this:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Premium-Astrology/Las-Vegas-Nevada-89107/Premium-Astrology-Norah-A-free-reading-and-then-you-pay-for-a-customized-report-with-freeb-761895

Well were off to a good start lol. But notably, nothing about a “Chris”.

Which brings me to my next query.

Chris1

So the guy is on the Google radar, and even has a facebook page. But no last name. Curious.

But if you scroll the page down even just a little bit, you find this.

Chrisscam1

Chrisscam2

http://www.astrocat.exactpages.com/index1.html

If you want to play around more with the “CHRIS” search results, here they are.

https://www.google.ca/#q=%22Astro+clairvoyant+Chris%22

So there you have it, my suspicions confirmed.

Many people over the years, have chastised me over my distrust in people. How I am always looking at things, in the most negative ways. Translation, I am critical of EVERYTHING I hear and see, pretty much anywhere.

While there are problems that arise from this, I make the argument that many people are TO trusting. I have no doubt that many will take this “Chris”/Earol’s offer, and answer right away. Not even realizing that they just got had.

When seeing though the smokescreen, would be as easy as typing a search term into a search engine.

In the words of Bill Maher, BE MORE CYNICAL!

Spirituality – When Does Harmless Belief, Become Not So Harmless?

real-ghost

Last year, I wrote a post called Psychics , which was intended to warn people not to fall for the ruse of fake psychics. Though I will say that it is hard to definitively prove that anyone is NOT gifted, its very easy to fake the “gift”, if you know how. If I did a little bit of Internet research, I am sure that I could become “gifted” in no time (ever see that episode of South Park? 🙂 ).

The situation that provoked me to write the post last year, was a family situation, which started (of all places), on Facebook. One of my aunts posted a status update claiming that she had been visited by her deceased father (my grandpa), and that he had said mostly positive things about what he seen, and about (apparently) the future.

Later inquiry brought out the fact that this “visit” happened my aunt as she was in to get a free card reading from a friend of hers, an apparently prominent psychic out Ontario. Apparently the “visit”,  was completely out of the blue. My grandfather I guess, just happened to be in the vicinity.

Either way, after that, I seen them post further details about other assorted  “spiritual”  journeys they had taken with this person, and various items purchased to do various things in the home. Something that really made me raise an eyebrow, but I kept quiet. After awhile, it quieted down, so I figured that the phase had probably moved on and past.

Being in to visit my family for the holidays, I came to realize that I was wrong. It begun innocently enough, with overhearing a discussion between my cousins about what they were in past lives, and how they were apparently somehow connected (imagine the chances! But I digress . . .). Then in the middle of a conversation with another cousin, a weird hush suddenly came into the room. Me being engrossed in my conversation, didn’t have a clue what was happening. But I later learned that my uncle and grandfather had apparently “dropped by” our family celebration.
Because now apparently, one of my cousins has the ability of seeing ghosts to (later that night, she apparently seen another women in the house we were in to).

Though on the surface this is seemingly harmless, I was later told that this happens at pretty much  every family gathering there is.

It was an interesting thing, being their in the middle of this. It was a like a microcosm of the bigger picture that is the debate for and against the paranormal. On one side, you have the believers, who are convinced of the accuracy in their scenes. And on the other, you have the skeptics, convinced that its all a load of crap, and that its just a figment of imagination.
And as with most times, both sides are trying to convince me how the other is clearly wrong. And both missing the point that neither can possibly be right OR wrong, because neither can show me any definitive proof to back it up (to the credit of the skeptics  side however, they may have just been overly willing to take that stance, having grown fed up with the paranormal showing its head in EVERY family event to date).

I was trying to keep myself on the fence (in the name of both keeping rational, AND not stepping on to many toes. It is family, after all), so I didn’t really give much of an opinion. But I know that the skeptics were probably the closest to being right. And not just because that is where my bias lies,  but because I have some evidence, my senses. Not my non-existent “sixth” sense either, but more, my sense of feeling and touch.

One of the things that “convinced” some of my grandfathers presence, was a “cold spot” over an empty chair (where apparently my grandfather was sitting). Which would be something to think about in a room that has a uniform  temperature.
But, being a cold winters day in Manitoba, and being that both front and back doors (not to mention windows, the house is at least 100) let in a bit of draft, your feet are always slightly cool. And as one skeptic pointed out, one vent by him was continuously blowing cool air into the room.
Which is a good, solid argument against.

One could say, though this behavior may be irrational (believing the seemingly unbelievable), what is the harm?

And on one hand, I tend to agree.

But one problem that I see  with this, is eluded to in my past Psychics post, as well as earlier in this piece. Though seeing ghosts and such is relatively harmless, there is a danger in shutting off all resistance and reason, in that it leaves one vulnerable to manipulation.
Many a medium and psychic has turned a good profit by way of being master manipulators.

Not to mention the harm and friction that this “harmless” belief may stir up in some situations.

Lets go back to the family gathering. Present there was my 80 something year old grandmother, who lost my grandfather suddenly years back in 1998, has grieved, and has not (for the most part), moved on.
Now, in the end of 2013 (15 years later),  we have relatives  announcing that he has come back to visit our family! Oh the joy!

Though they see no harm in mentioning that, what about my grandmother? What is she supposed to be thinking? Sure, she might find it comforting. But what if its just opening an old wound?
Why should she go though that alone, even if she does not feel right mentioning it to family members?

I knew that religion had the ability to really corrupt minds, and make for some nasty situations. But the paranormal, I have never really considered in the same category, until now. Sure, I have always known that people have a tendency of forgetting that there are other options and stances then the extremes. But I never seen it as “harmful”.

Then there is the argument against, which is very difficult.

Its relatively easy to argue against the concept of god, because there is nothing to see. Though people may claim to see god’s hand in the world (figuratively of course), they do not actually see the person, or thing, that IS god.

But how do you convince someone that claims to be seeing the ghost of a past relative (or of anyone for that matter), that this might not be anything more then a figment of imagination?
But more importantly, just as I leave my atheist cue cards put away during holiday events and most day to day conversations (and most people leave there religious cue cards put away), how do you tell someone of a more “spiritual” belief, that the same is expected of them?

The reaction to the resistance of my other family members towards the vocalized spiritual sightings, was contempt for  just not “accepting”. Is it possible that maybe, just maybe,  they did not want to have someone elses spiritual beliefs thrown in their faces?

If I decided to start an ongoing (perpetuated by me) conversation about how there is likely no god, people would respond with proof as they see it, which might be oppisition. Am I right to get angry that some people happen to be vocally opposing to my views, if I was the one who started the conversation in the first place?

Though having overly spiritual beliefs is not inherently bad, please remember not to completely surrender your common sense in the name of being “open to the other side”.

Do not spend money on anything that anyone is claiming has  any “spiritual” value, because there is a 99.9% chance that you are being duped. This includes not just objects and such, but also spiritual “sessions”.
And when it comes to these “sessions”, even avoid ones that are free of charge. Advertisers and marketers everywhere know that “try before you buy”, the reality coupon,  is a great way to snag steady consumers of whatever snake oil they are pedaling.
And specialists in spirituality are no different (my aunts “free card reading” proved to be quite rewarding to the psychic, though I am guessing my aunt would never see or admit it).

And lastly, just as one’s  religious  (and non-religious) beliefs  should be treated in the same way as one’s penis or boobs (don’t whip em out in public!), the same rule applies to ones spirituality.
And if you do insist on sharing with the rest of the world, do not be angry if your opposition decides to chime in their piece.

The Loch Ness Monster – Can You Change Your Mind?

Loch Ness Monster mystery could be explained by a fault line under the lake

LochNessFault

The legend of the Loch Ness Monster has persevered for more than 200 years. But could tales of a prehistoric sea creature located in a deep Scottish body of water be explained by science?

That’s the source of a new theory, which speculates that the Loch Ness Monster may actually be a fault line lying underneath the Scottish lake.

Even after 200 years of technological advances since the first reported spotting in 1806, rumors of the Loch Ness Monster continue to persist. In fact, technology has played a role in spawning some Nessie theories.

For example, in 2011, local boat skipper Marcus Atkinson produced a sonar image of what he described as a large object following his boat for several minutes at a depth of 75 feet.

And in 2012, George Edwards shared a photo of an unexplained image in Loch Ness. Skeptics have said the image was likely of a log floating atop the water.

Scientific American reports that Italian geologist Luigi Piccardi believes the Great Glen fault system is actually responsible for mysterious bubbles and the shaking ground commonly associated with supposed creature sightings.

“There are various effects on the surface of the water that can be related to the activity of the fault,” Piccardi told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

And he has some compelling evidence to back up his case. For example, he notes that many of the alleged sightings have happened at times when the 62-mile fault was experiencing an active period.

“We know that this was a period [1920-1930] with increased activity of the fault. In reality, people have seen the effects of the earthquakes on the water.”

So, what do you think? There have been strange reports near Loch Ness going all the way back to the 7th century. Are the numerous sightings over the years proof of the creature’s existence, mere coincidence, or even a self-fulfilling prophecy continued on by people who want to take part in the legend? Or, could it all actually simply be explained by a natural phenomenon found across the planet?

When it comes to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, I really can not say that I was a believer, nor did I totally reject the possibility. Like Lake Manitoba‘s Manipogo , Lake Okanagan‘s Ogopogo, and likley countless other local legends world wide, its one of those things. There may not be proof to go either way, but the legend adds to the local culture, and to peoples imaginations.

There has always been images that were mistaking one phenomenon or another for “Nessy”, and many hoaxes to. And there was speculation of potential answers, but nothing that was ever more then mere speculation. Until very recently (the above article), the Loch Ness Monster question has remained largely open ended.

But the fault line explanation, does make a lot of sense. If the lake bed is shifting (especially being pushed UP with force), this could make for some interesting expulsions on the waters surface.

In the image above, it indeed looks like monster of some sort. But there may be the key word, LOOKS. If you are in the area, then you likley know about the legend. And if you happen to capture an image such as this, even if you are a skeptic, you still have the legend in the back of your mind.
Your pretty much predisposed to be biased.

I have always seen a “monster” in the image above. Not to surprising, because everyone does. But given this new theory, I can also see the possibility there to. The image above is black and white, so it doesn’t tell us a whole lot. But “Nessy’s” head could indeed, be a column of water being pushed up.

Though this is far from being scientific proof, it is likley as close as were ever going to get. For me, though I always leave my options open (you never know!), this is a pretty good conclusion to the age old problem.

Though this was easy for me to accept, ive discovered, not everyone is willing to part with the idea of “Nessy”. I sense with most, its because its a familiar legend, and always peaked there imagination, and those things can be hard to let go of. But I have had one occurrence where a person was flat out hostile towards the idea of fault disruption causing the phenomenon (they went as far as calling the scientist with the idea a Quack).

This I found to be quite interesting. Why is it so hard to accept new information on some subjects such as this? Can you change your mind?