by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground e-Magazine
In the comments section for my blog about paranormal investigators being able to make money (Should Paranormal Teams Be Able to Charge for Investigations?), Ryan brought up a point about standards for paranormal investigation. It’s yet another thing I’ve been thinking about – standards. Let’s discuss.
I freely admit that I have Libertarian leanings. I believe in a free market. If the market is truly allowed to be free, then the market will determine who succeeds and who fails. I believe that this is as it should be – hard work, excellent service and innovation should be rewarded by increased business. I also think that when the government gets involved through regulations, rules and legislation, it hampers the free marketplace. Yep – I get that this is highly idealistic and a naive view of the world. I know it doesn’t actually work this way – but it doesn’t stop me from believing it should. But then, I also believe those who are rewarded through the free marketplace should engage in private philanthropy to help those in need of help so that the government doesn’t need to get as involved in social services as they are. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative. That’s me. But I digress.
What does this have to do with standards in paranormal investigation? Everything and nothing. Ideally, standards for paranormal investigation should be set and maintained by the investigating entity. And then, consumers can choose the set of standards with which they are most comfortable bringing into their home/business/lives. In an ideal world.
But here’s what’s really happening (at least in my view when I remove my rose-colored glasses). There are a lot of terrific, professional paranormal teams out there that are innovative, scientific and thorough. These teams have a well thought-out approach to paranormal investigation based a number of factors – including scientific method. Conversely, there are just as many groups out there who have come together on a whim because they saw TAPS on TV. They go in and wave around an EMF meter and believe that they are conducting a paranormal investigation. There are groups who lack professionalism in demeanor, as well. I’ve heard horror stories. Unfortunately, these groups give the professionals a bad name.
So how do we raise standards in paranormal investigation? By coming together as a paranormal community and helping those who are just starting out to understand that there is more to investigation than they see on TV. We can share methods and theories. We can participate in paranormal communities such as Paranormal Science and Assistance or our forums here on Paranormal Underground.
And maybe — upon learning of a new team that bases their investigation on what they see on TV –we can take them under our collective wings and help them to learn how to develop standards for their team that will help to shine a positive light on all of us.
As a community, I believe that we have a responsibility to help set the standards for paranormal investigation. Each of us has something unique we bring to the table that can be passed on to those joining us in the field. By word, by example, by mentoring, we can help to create higher standards for investigation.
Look – I finally had an opinion other than, “I don’t know!” What do you think? How can we raise the standards across the board, or do they need to be raised? I look forward to hearing what you think.