by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
Recent forays into mainstream press to talk about various paranormal projects have garnered some downright nasty commentary. What’s always interesting to me about this type of commentary is that it often comes from people who lead faith-based lives. And it always leads me to wonder – what’s the difference between religious faith and paranormal belief?
I was raised to believe in a supernatural power. I attended a Christian church growing up – all the way until I went to college. At various times through my life, I have returned to the church to see if there is something there for me.
Millions take the reality of God on faith – including scientists. And yet many of these God-fearing men and women who believe in an invisible power with no empirical proof decry research into the paranormal, parapsychology, noetic sciences, reincarnation and other similar topics as absolute hooey. Pseudoscience at best.
Recently, there was an article about me in my hometown newspaper. It talked about my work with the paranormal, the documentary I am producing with a group of dedicated people, my work with Paranormal Underground, a book I co-wrote on past life regression and my upcoming book on the supernatural. The response was underwhelming, and at times, outright mean. I was accused of being a loose woman who had an affair with my current husband while still being married to my first husband (an impossibility since there was nearly 15 years between the first marriage and meeting my current hubby). I was called a nincompoop (although I sort of found that one funny. I enjoy the word nincompoop). It was suggested that I am out just attempting to bilk people by talking about the paranormal so that I could make a good living for myself. There were others that were equally nasty, as well, but those stand out. These were personal attacks, based upon nothing more than an article in the newspaper that talked a teeny tiny bit about what I do as a passion (and have yet to make a dime doing – although I’ve spent several thousand on it).
A similar thing happened when our good friends Bert and Jayme Coates at NWPIA were featured in a Seattle Times article. In a similar fashion to the little piece done about me, the comments were brutal. They were called stupid. They were accused of seeking personal fame, of being quacks and of being ” a complete waste of time” – Bert and Jayme, not the article about them. Again, the comments were brutal and oddly personal.
What is even more surprising is that many such attacks come from people within the paranormal community. One group, who is notorious in our state for attacking any other paranormal group who gets press, were shockingly brutal in their comments about two people who share their passion and are doing everything they can to further the public consciousness about the possibility of the paranormal.
And really, isn’t that all it is? An attempt to share a passion with the public? Several times a year, someone knocks on my door to share the “good news” about Jesus with me. Just yesterday, we received a full-length book in the mail (unordered, unsolicited) that talks about the battle between God and Satan, and how it is active in our lives at this very moment. Many of these same people who would criticize our curiosity about the unseen and unknown are out proselytizing about their belief in the unseen and unknown.
And yet, never once have I criticized them for their belief in a higher power. Never once have I suggested to a scientist who is also a Deist that there is no empirical evidence for what they believe. Never once when an article appears in the paper that talks of someone’s faith in God have I called them a nincompoop or suggested that they a) cheat on husbands or b) are just out for a buck. As far as I know, neither have Bert and Jayme.
That’s because I have no need to push my agenda onto others or to control the beliefs of others. Instead, I am seeking the afterlife. That is my focus. Why? Personal curiosity, mostly. But also, if anyone wants to come and ask me about it, maybe hearing about the afterlife could cause someone to live their life with less fear, more joy and more compassion for their fellow man.
I have no beef with religion. I have no beef with faith – as a matter of fact, I currently consider myself a person of faith. The things that I have experienced have led me to reach a very personal and individual conclusion – that there is some higher power acting in our lives. But that is exactly what it is – a very personal and individual conclusion. For me to go out and demand that others reach the same conclusion I have is insanity. Isn’t it? What business is it of mine the conclusion that others reach about God? What business is it of mine what private passions and interests people pursue in their own lives? If their interests, beliefs and passions are different than mine, should I then malign their personal morality and question their intelligence?
So many of us in the paranormal community are doing the same thing. We are trying to find answers. It isn’t about personal glory – although it is about personal curiosity. We often reach different conclusions than others in the community. To my way of thinking, there’s nothing wrong with that. Each of us approaches evidence and experiences from our own frame of reference and filters it through everything we have ever thought, felt, seen, heard and experienced.
Who am I to say that what another believes to be true isn’t? Who am I to tell people that their conclusions are wrong because they don’t match mine? Who am I to tell you what to believe? And who am I to attack you because you have chosen a different path than I?
Be who you are, because that is who you know how to be. Never let the judgments of others get you down.
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